Did you stay positive this Valentine’s Day?

While Valentine’s Day is often depicted as a fantastic time, filled with poems, flowers, and chocolates, not everyone enjoys the holiday. For some, Valentine’s Day is a dreadful time that highlights the niggling problems in their relationship or the fact that they’re still single when they don’t want to be.

If you’re not a fan of Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone. Feeling depressed, isolated, and lonely around Valentine’s Day can affect single people as well as those in a relationship. It’s a particularly difficult time for those susceptible to SAD (Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder).

Valentine’s Day and SAD

Struggling to get out of bed in the morning, having a low mood that never seems to improve, and not being able to find the motivation to do daily activities can all be signs of seasonal affectiveness disorder. If you’ve often felt down around Valentine’s Day, these feelings can be intensified if you’re also experiencing SAD.

As seasonal affective disorder symptoms first appear at the beginning of winter, they may increase in number and severity throughout the season. By Valentine’s Day in February, you could be feeling more hopeless, lethargic, and irritable than ever.

Whether your negative mood is caused by a disdain of Valentine’s Day, seasonal affective disorder, or a combination of the two, you don’t have to struggle with your symptoms forever. Here are five ways to stay positive this Valentine’s Day and the coming years!

Celebrate your own way

You don’t have to celebrate Valentine’s Day by splashing out on a fancy dinner with your partner. If you’re in a relationship and you’ve been struggling recently, the pressure of making a big gesture might be overwhelming.

Instead, have a casual chat about your expectations before February 14th and choose something more appropriate. You could cook a meal together, go for a hike, or play a game. What matters is spending time together.

You don’t even have to celebrate on Valentine’s Day. If that date is inconvenient for you, choose another date that’s better. You could even decide to skip Valentine’s Day and make more of an effort for each other every day.

Embrace being alone

Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Meeting up with friends or family, whether in person or online via video chat, is a perfectly valid way of enjoying the holiday. But if you don’t want to socialize, you can spend it on your own, too.

Plan a day filled with all your favorite things: food, TV shows, hobbies, sports, etc, and have the ultimate indulgent day. You can turn off your computer, mute your notifications on your phone, and focus on spending quality time with yourself. 

Create a new tradition

Transform Valentine’s Day into something you look forward to each year by creating a new tradition. It can be anything you like, from something as extreme as going away on vacation or taking a road trip to something as simple as trying a new hobby or cooking your favorite meal.

Choose something that’s really special to you that you know you’ll enjoy repeating year after year. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single or in a relationship, you can always make a new tradition that you can look forward to every winter.

Take science’s advice

If you’re having difficulties coming up with something you’ll enjoy on Valentine’s Day, leave the hard work to science. A huge amount of research has been done on ways of boosting the brain chemicals that make you feel happy and upbeat.

Here are a few science-backed methods that will help improve your mood:

  • Try a new workout or go for a walk. This study proved that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even if there were no physical changes.
  • Sleep in as long as you want. A study in NutureShock proved that not getting enough sleep makes you focus on negative feelings and topics.
  • Pet an animal. Give your own pet some extra love, offer to take care of a friend’s pet, or volunteer at an animal shelter. Research shows that interacting with animals can make you feel better in all kinds of ways.

Talk to someone

If the above tips don’t work for you and you need a little extra support, we’re here for you. Our qualified therapists understand what you’re going through and can help you develop the skills you need to cope during this challenging time of year.

Whether your SAD symptoms are creating conflict between you and your partner or your depression is causing you to feel more lonely and isolated than ever, help is at hand. Get in touch today 

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. If you are in a crisis or any other person may be in danger,  these resources can provide you with immediate help:
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988
24 Hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.8255
Crisis Text Line Text TALK to 741741