Valentine’s Day is known for flowers, chocolates, romance, cards, champagne, and more. However, those without a significant other may feel strong emotions on Valentine’s Day due to the expectation that you should have someone special on that day and if you don’t, you’re lonely. Emotions that could arise from this include guilt, sadness, depression, anxiety, and anger. No matter the case, sobriety is key for those of us in recovery, and those emotions could trigger us. Here is your ultimate guide to getting through Valentine’s Day, no matter where you’re at in your recovery:
- Recognize the feelings you have, but don’t dwell on them. If you’re feeling sad or upset, allow yourself to feel those emotions. Psych Central suggests writing in a journal, meditating, having a good cry, and listening to music are a few ways to truly feel your emotions. There is a key difference, however, between feeling and dwelling is a matter of acknowledging vs. ruminating the entire day. Don’t let your emotions ruin your day, but do recognize and express them.
- Identify potential stressors/triggers. Some who are feeling upset on Valentine’s Day may be hyper-focused on their love life due to the holiday, but is that truly what’s bothering you? Work responsibilities, family stressors, health issues, financial obligations, and more could also be adding stress that day. Sometimes recognizing other influencers can help to lessen the intense feelings of sadness over your love life.
- Acknowledge and appreciate the connections you do have. Whether it’s close friends, family, recovery support groups, or a significant other, Valentine’s Day can be focused on simply appreciating those that are currently in your life and uplifting your recovery. Focusing on these people will help you to feel less lonely as well.
- Make plans to do something that doesn’t involve stress or drinking. If you plan to go out with your significant other, make plans to do something that doesn’t involve drinking. Go to a classic movie-and-dinner date, go bowling, go on a nice walk and have a picnic, visit a local museum, go camping, etc. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be celebrated at night; going during the day could help curb the thought of drinking as well. If you don’t plan to go out with a significant other, make the decision to do something above by yourself or with friends. Bowling, laser tag, and art classes are just a few other things you could do.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment center. Our licensed, experienced professionals will support you every step of the way. We believe that recovery should have a holistic focus, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.