Valentine’s Day Tips for Mental Health

valentines day and mental health

Valentine’s Day is celebrated when couples show their love and affection for each other. But not everyone is filled with joy on Valentine’s Day.

It can be stressful, lonely and depressing if you’re single or having difficulties in your relationship. Instead of feeling the warmth of togetherness, 14 February can bring on feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem.

The good news is that there are ways you can beat the Valentine’s Day blues. This article examines the connection between Valentine’s Day and mental health and provides valuable tips to help you feel better this February.

Valentine’s Day and Mental Health

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about celebrating romance and love. Unfortunately, it can also be a tough day for many people. While others shower each other with gifts and flowers and book overpriced restaurants, some people spend the day grappling with mental health issues. If you don’t feel like you live up to the romantic ideal of Valentine’s Day, February 14th can be an awful time of the year.

Valentine’s Day can serve to highlight what’s going wrong in life. If you’ve got an existing mental health problem, or you’ve just broken up with someone, are single, have just lost someone, or you’re having problems in your relationship, you might have trouble coping with Cupid’s Big Day.

If so, you don’t have to be ashamed or feel like you’re being silly. There’s a proven connection between Valentine’s Day and mental health. Psychologists found that Valentine’s Day is a real cause of situational depression.

There are a few ways that Valentine’s Day can bring about the blues. If you feel you’re at risk, watch out for the following symptoms:

Loneliness

The UK is going through what experts call an ‘epidemic of loneliness’. Almost one-quarter of UK residents reported that they regularly felt severe feelings of loneliness, according to a survey from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The problem is so bad that the UK appointed a Minister for Loneliness in 2018

Loneliness isn’t classified as a mental health problem on its own. But you might feel lonely a lot of the time if you are already struggling with anxiety, depression, or another mental health issue.

For people who suffer from loneliness, all the Valentine’s Day hype about being in a happy relationship can make them feel more alone than ever. For those who’ve lost a partner, Valentine’s Day can bring up intense feelings of grief and loneliness.

Mental Health Awareness Training

Our Mental Health Awareness Training course will help increase an understanding of common mental health conditions, including how or when an individual might suffer and the ways to improve it to encourage positive mental health among the staff at work.

Low Self-Esteem

Our self-esteem can take a real beating on Valentine’s Day. Many people who are single or in complicated relationships wind up believing that they are unworthy of love. Being bombarded with images of happy couples on TV and social media can exacerbate these feelings and leave you feeling like you just aren’t good enough.

Mental Health in Relationships

The Valentine’s Day blues don’t just apply to single people. Even people in relationships can experience difficulties dealing with Valentine’s Day.

If you’re in a bad place in your relationship, Valentine’s Day can result in added pressure and stress. Even if they’re not currently going through a bad patch, some couples often find that Valentine’s Day causes them to focus on the negative aspects of their relationship.

Valentine’s Day represents a highly idealised depiction of love that doesn’t match reality. Trying to live up to that ideal can cause friction and disappointment.

How to Take Care of Your Mental Health on Valentine’s Day

As we can see, Valentine’s Day can have a pretty severe impact on our mental health, whether we’re single or in a relationship. But there are things you can do to manage the negative emotions that Valentine’s Day can bring about.

  • Practice self-care
  • Stop comparing
  • Switch off social media
  • Give yourself a treat
  • Get in touch with others
  • Learn more about mental health

Easy to say, you might scoff. Well, it’s also not so difficult to do either. Let’s look at how these techniques can defeat the Valentine’s Day blues.

Be Kind to Yourself

Give yourself a break. Concentrate on stopping those negative voices in your head that tell you you’re not good enough. Consciously act to keep your thought processes positive. Try some positive affirmations instead of dwelling on your problems. Focus on what’s good in your life and be grateful for it. You might not have a romantic partner, but there may be other types of love in your life to be thankful for. Make an effort to treat yourself with love and kindness.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Real life isn’t like a romance novel, even though all the hoo-ha around Valentine’s Day makes us think it is. Don’t compare your life to anybody else’s. Remember: what’s on the TV and the internet isn’t the whole truth. Everyone has issues and problems.

Talking through problems with others also helps you find solutions and gain perspective.

Take a Break from Social Media and TV

Giving up on scrolling the internet or binge-watching TV during Valentine’s Day is an excellent idea. The constant flow of posts about happy couples and the onslaught of gushy Valentine’s Day ads won’t help your mental health. Instead, try switching off your devices and doing something more peaceful, like reading a book, going for a walk, or settling back to listen to a favourite album.

Treat Yourself

Be your own Valentine and treat yourself to something special on Valentine’s Day. As well as getting comfy with a good book and music, you could walk in the countryside, go to the beach, visit an art gallery, buy yourself a new outfit, go for a coffee, take time out to meditate or have a nice hot bath. Be sure to avoid alcohol, though. It’ll just exacerbate your problems.

Valentine and treat yourself

Reach Out to Someone

Human contact is the best way to banish feelings of depression or loneliness. Contact an old friend or a relative and arrange a catch-up. If you struggle to find someone to talk to, try volunteering or joining a community group. And if things feel really bleak, seek professional help.

Always remember: you’re not alone. You’re not worthless. You do matter. There is help out there.

If you need mental health help, or you just need someone to talk to, try getting in touch with your GP or the following organisations:

Improve Your Mental Health Awareness

Did you know we didn’t start linking Valentine’s Day with romantic love until the 14th century when Geoffrey Chaucer made the connection in his poem ‘Parlement of Foules’? To this day, no one’s sure if he made it up or based it on an existing tradition.

So, if you feel trepidation about Valentine’s Day, don’t be too hard on yourself. Blame Chaucer.

You can always take steps to improve your state of mind. Increasing mental health awareness can help keep the Valentine’s Day blues at bay.

Our Mental Health Courses teach you how to be more resilient and how to take care of your mind and your body.

You can take these courses in segments online whenever you like. All courses are assured by leading UK health and safety authorities.

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