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Valentine's Day Blues

What do you do when the whole world wants you to feel a certain way? By now, you've probably seen wee
Valentine's Day Blues
What do you do when the whole world wants you to feel a certain way?
By now, you’ve probably seen weeks and weeks of Valentine’s Day commercials and store displays.
It is a holiday that is loudly in your face, and the pressure can be unbearable.
To me, Valentine’s Day, along with some other “holidays,” can wreak havoc on people who are dealing with mental health issues.
It’s important to hold onto yourself during these days.
I’ll reveal how at the end.

My Embarrassing Valentine's Day Story
What I’m about to share is not my proudest moment.
When I was in middle school, I actually broke up with my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.
I know, it’s horrible. Or is it?
I was in 7th grade, I believe, and I think it was my first “girlfriend.” I was extremely emotionally mature, and I don’t think I wanted to even be in a relationship. I remember my friends pressuring me to ask her out after a middle school dance. Fun times.
Well, my anxiety got the best of me, I couldn’t decide what gift to get her for Valentine’s Day, and I ended up getting her nothing AND breaking up with her over the phone. I didn’t even know her that well, and my mind was spinning. It was just all too much for me.
Now, granted, I could have handled this a lot better. But it’s helping me illustrate my point. I remember feeling SO MUCH pressure to do everything right on Valentine’s Day. And this was pressure that was coming from my peers in middle school. Middle school.
This was a time of my life that I should have not worried one iota about Valentine’s Day. But I succumbed to the pressure. And it became unbearable for me, leading me to make a really foolish decision.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because we carrie our memories with us throughout our lives. Big, pressure-packed days like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever it might be, leave marks on our bodies and minds. Even if we don’t remember the exact events, our bodies do. And this can impact how we feel years into the future.
A Short Guide for Surviving Valentine's Day
If you don’t love the pressure that comes with this day, know that you’re not alone. It’s one day, and you’ll get through it.
Still, it can help to have a guide. Here are some steps to follow.
  1. Do a self-check about how you’re feeling - Whether you realize it or not, these kinds of pressure-packed days can have strange impacts on your body and mind. Take some time today to check in with yourself and assess how you’re feeling. See if you have tension in your body. Notice if you have racing thoughts. Ask yourself if you’re feeling more stressed than normal.
  2. Take it moment by moment - This can apply to any day, but it’s especially important on days like Valentine’s Day. Rather than dealing with all of your feelings and thoughts in one big lump, take it moment by moment, gently responding to each one as they come. You’ll feel much more capable and confident if you do this.
  3. Finally, remember who you are on other days - What I mean by this is that you have an identity outside of this day. It’s easy to forget that when the world is singing another tune. Think about how you act during a normal day. Couldn’t you do the same thing today? Sometimes it takes a little extra focus to escape the wolf pack during days that become national (or international) frenzies. But that extra focus is worth it if it means you hold onto your sanity.
You will get through this day.
Just like you have gotten through other days. Break the day into moments. You can always make it through the blink of a moment, and it’s much more digestible to think about the day in this way.
Moment by moment, you’ll make it through.
Make that your personal mantra for today.
And any day that you need it to guide you.

Do you like Valentine’s Day? Do you hate it? Check in with yourself today.

I’m here if you need me,
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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Writer, Poet, and Advocate

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