Valentine’s Day is known as a day of celebrating love and the human connection between partners. As a vast majority (54%) celebrate the holiday and even look past it during the hard times (18-21%), it may be hard to imagine there is a group of people suffering on the day. The fact of the matter is there is at least 10% that dread the holiday, insofar as having suicidal thoughts and depression on Valentine’s Day.
If you’re a part of this 10% know you’re not alone. Whether you’re grieving a loved one or depressed as a result of being single on this day, know there are things you can do to enjoy yourself during this difficult time. Don’t let feelings of loneliness intensify. And, if you are already at risk for depression, reach out for help before suicidal thoughts and behaviors cause you to feel even more isolated and desperate on this day. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are not alone.
Those who may struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts are especially vulnerable to the intensity of these symptoms on February 14. It’s advised that if you already have depression or suicidal thoughts, you stay mindful of any emotions that spur on the day. You may be experiencing symptoms of depression if you have any of the following:
Suicidal thoughts are the worst and most dangerous symptom, and may or may not be present. They may or may not look like:
If you notice any of the above, please call 988 for immediate help. You are not alone and help is available.
The first and most important thing you can do is identify your triggers. If there are social media posts or even previous memories that are cropping up on your apps, the best thing you can do is avoid or limit your social media use. You can also consider deleting old photos.
Try something new. The adage “date yourself” is true to a certain extent. Taking care of yourself and expressing self-love is the best thing you can do when you’re single. This is the perfect time to start a new commitment with yourself. Sign up for a class, or treat yourself to a shopping day at your favorite store. Cooking, fitness classes, or searching Youtube for new at-home hobbies (e.g. DIY bath bomb making and/or DIY candle making) can lead to new hobbies or holistic therapeutic hobbies.
Establish affirmations. You don’t always need to express love by saying it, but it sure does help! Establishing affirmations you can say to yourself every morning in the mirror is a great habit to start on Valentine’s Day. Here are some ideas for affirmations:
Next, you can create a gratitude journal.
Creating a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a journal you write in to express thanks for what you have. It is a journal to reflect on positive experiences or people and shows appreciation for them. Keeping a gratitude journal can be an important pillar of an individual’s mental health, especially during holiday grief.
Two professors at University of Miami have even conducted research implying that just writing two sentences a night reflecting on what they were grateful for during the week brought them greater well-being and fewer physician visits than the group that did not.
Reach out to friends and family. Especially if you are prone to self-isolation or depression-based withdrawal, try to keep a daily habit of reaching out to your family or friends. If you are looking to make new friends, you can always join and reach out for support on Reddit or Facebook.
It can also greatly help to plan dates with friends and/or family. Grounding in nature can be very helpful in reconnecting with your soul, healing, and practicing self-love. Ask a friend or a family to go on a hike or a nature walk. You can also visit a museum, or gallery, or make it a spa day.