Valentine's Day Survival Guide
Valentine's Day is fast approaching and many of us will catch ourselves dreaming of chocolates, roses, and romantic getaways. However, if we are not careful disappointment and heartache may be what is awaiting us instead. Valentine's Day can be very stressful for many people. In a survey 40% of people claimed that they feel negatively about the holiday. I have created a Survival Guide to get through this sometimes dreadful and sometimes amazing holiday. I hope that this guide will help you move past any negative feelings you may have and enjoy the day.
Valentine's Day In Perspective
Advertising companies have overburdened this holiday with images of Cupid, fancy dinners, sunsets and diamonds. All of these visuals have created an expectation of what should be. That formula has worked for marketers allowing them to generate more than 14 million dollars in retail sales each year. With that in mind it is a good idea to do some self reflection on what the holiday really means to you.
If You Are Single....
Sad feelings may overwhelm you, but pull yourself up by your bootstraps and snap out of it! No one enjoys a one-person pity party, especially the person hosting it. So start appreciating what you have. Being single on Valentine's Day is not a telltale sign that you are doomed to be forever alone. Re-frame your state of mind. Remember how great it is to be single, and how some of your married friends are downright jealous of your freedom. Make a list of all the advantages, and truly savor those reasons because before too long, you could find yourself in a relationship, and this phase of your life with be over!!!
Treat Yourself Right
No one ever said that you cannot treat yourself on Valentine's Day. Go shopping and buy yourself that new pair of shoes you've been eyeing, buy a pint of Ben and Jerry's and binge watch your favorite shows, do whatever you want to do. One of the biggest advantages that I can think of that one has when they are single is that they can do WHATEVER they want to do. So do whatever makes you happy.
Grab your best single friends and head out for a night out on the town. Do things that you can only do if you are single: choose the place you want to go, flirt with strangers, and stay out late.
Focus On Others
Take the focus off yourself and what you think you might be missing in your life, make this holiday about others. Research shows that when we do something nice for others, we get a bigger boost in happiness and life satisfaction that when we do something nice for ourselves. Try giving your colleagues Valentine's Day cards each with a sentence about what makes that person special. Or maybe there is an amazing couple in your life; try making their Valentine's Day better by doing something thoughtful for them.
If You're In A Relationship or Married....
Remember What Valentine's Day Is Not
This holiday is not a test of someone's love. It is not a way to check if your partner can read your mind.
Use the holiday to strengthen your relationship. Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to reflect over the past year, and reconnect with your loved one. Take some time and look in on what makes your partner special, and write these things down in the card you're going to give them. I have always believed the message in the card is the most important part of the gift.
Keep Communication Open
Since your partner cannot read your mind if you have certain reasonable expectations about what you'd like to happen this holiday- gently communicate with them what you would like to see happen during this holiday. This could be the spark it takes to start new traditions for you two.
Give A Personalized Gift From The Heart.
More than anything, your partner desires to feel loved and appreciated. If the two of you are exchanging presents, give a thoughtful gift that shows you have really been paying attention to your partner's needs and wishes. Often better than giving a material item is to plan a shared experience, such as a night out to the theater or a dinner at a special restaurant. The experience builds positive memories, which both of you will always share. For me positive memories mean much more than a material item ever could.
Include The Kids...
Valentine's Day, Not Just For Lovers
Valentine's Day is toted by advertising agencies as a holiday for lovers. I believe that Valentine's Day is a holiday for love. Love for your partner but also love for your children, family, friends, co-workers, your fellow man. My oldest daughter gets super excited every year to pick out the perfect Valentine's Day cards to pass out to her friends and she gets so much joy from sharing her appreciation for them by passing out these little cards. I always try to include my kids in my Valentine's Day plans in one way or another. It is my family tradition to write down 14 different reasons that I love my girls on post it notes and posting them on their bedroom door the night before Valentine's Day. That way they start their day with reading all the reasons why they are loved and appreciated. We typically spend some part of the day exchanging small boxes of chocolate and talking about how we appreciate each other too. This opens communication with my girls and allows them to feel included in the holiday festivities.
Remember Above All Things You Are Loved
You Are Appreciated
No matter if you are single or married always remember that you are loved. Someone out there appreciates you and you are loved. It may be the customer who appreciates the way you make their perfect coffee. It may be the little girls that you are trying so hard to be a wonderful mother to. It may be the husband or wife that appreciates all the sacrifices you have made for the family. It may be you just loving yourself.
Even When You Feel Completely Alone, HE Is Still There
Never, ever forget that no matter what you are never alone and you are always loved by God. He will never abandon you and will always love you. So the next time that you feel alone, abandoned, and unappreciated remember that you were wonderfully and fearfully made and that God loves you.
"We love because he first loved us."- John 4:19