If you’re separated, going through a divorce, just recently divorced or somewhere else in that process, Valentine’s Day can cause you to feel depressed or stressed. Valentine’s Day is expected to be a day full of love and happiness. Unfortunately, for those who in the middle of or after divorce, Valentine’s Day can be a day of loneliness and distress. Reminders of romance and love appear to be everywhere. Decorations and the colors of red and white and Valentine’s themed decorations seem exceptionally over the top for those dealing with separation and divorce.
Remember that you are not alone. Many other people experience the same feeling of loneliness, stress and depression and want nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. There are many steps that you can take to help you feel more fulfilled and happy during this celebration of love and affection. For instance:
- Become a giver rather than a receiver of gifts this year. As our parents always said to us, “It’s better to give than to receive.” Make a short list of people whom you know, (the people to whom you are close) and deliver as many small meaningful gifts as you can so that your Valentine’s Day’s busy and full of good feelings. Also you can give to your community. During Christmas time, people readily volunteer because they are in the spirit of the holiday. After the beginning of the year, most people get back to their daily lives and volunteers are fewer in number. Consequently, don’t be afraid to volunteer at a local hospital, nursing home, or homeless shelter. Participating in these volunteer activities will help you relieve your loneliness and will make you feel more fulfilled and content.
- Gather up your love notes and cards from your former spouse and have a bonfire. If you don’t have a fireplace, make a circle of large rocks in your backyard or somewhere where it’s safe to build a fire and burn those old letters and cards, one by one. Sometimes, nothing warms a wounded heart more than the symbolic destruction of painful memories once and for all.
- Give yourself a present. If you’re going through a separation or divorce, then emotionally, you have a great deal of difficult work and stress to deal with. Instead of focusing on what you do not have, focus on yourself. Treat yourself to a massage or go all out for a spa day. That should help relieve some of the stress and tension in your life. You can even invite a friend to make the day all about you. You can also treat yourself in other ways on Valentine’s Day. Get tickets to your favorite show or sports event. Go out for a drink with friends or do anything else that makes you happy. Go places or engage in activities that you may not ordinarily do otherwise.
- Physical activity. Your body is a fantastic piece of machinery. However, it becomes a container of stress when you’re going through difficult situations like a divorce or separation. Now would be a really good time to take a run, find a yoga show on TV, or go outside for a walk. You may even want to try some new activities like kayaking, paddle boarding (if you’re here in the South), speed skating, or cross-country skiing if you reside in one of our northern states. No matter where you are located, treat yourself to some physical activity to make you feel better. You may even want to try dancing. If you’ve never done it before, then throw out the excuses and use Valentine’s Day as a good opportunity to try this physical activity. Take a class by yourself or invite a friend to come along with you.
- You may have the children with you on Valentine’s Day. Instead of making it a gloomy event, make it a family fun day. Cook the children’s favorite foods for dinner, and do something fun together. Start a family tradition of game night. Have fun with your children during this day that celebrates affection and love for others. Keeping busy with your children will take your mind off of any sorrow that may be associated with Valentine’s Day and reduce the Valentine’s Day loneliness. Have a special family game night.
- Host a small party or get together at your place. For some people, being alone only makes Valentine’s Day more difficult to deal with. Being around other people and staying active will keep your mind occupied in a positive way. Make some cocktails and appetizers and invite as many non-couples as you can. The party shouldn’t be an “anti-Valentine’s Day” celebration since you want to concentrate on abundance and positive attitudes. Invite all the single people you know and tell each person to bring a platonic member of the opposite sex. Another party idea is to have a dinner party where the guests make dinner together, eat, and celebrate victories and positive occurrences in their lives. Turn up the music while you cook and relish being among friends, cooking and eating good food.
- Distract yourself. If your circumstances find that you’re going to be home alone, then keeping your mind occupied is good medicine. It may not be the most fun you’ve ever had but tackling housework at home is better than sitting around thinking about how alone you are and how terrible your circumstances may be.
Finally, remember that you’ve been in tough situations before. You successfully made it through the end-of-December holidays and New Year’s Eve. So you can survive Valentine’s Day. Everyone, who is making goo-goo eyes at one another, is probably not getting much joy. They’re just trying to avoid disappointing their partner out of doing so as you may think. So therefore, show love to your friends, your children, your community and most of all to yourself and get ready for the discount candy that’s going to be going on sale shortly after Valentine’s Day.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss divorce in Florida, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A.The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.