Written by Dr. Michael Spellman

Get the most from Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day brings different experiences and different feelings to different people.   For some warm feelings, and the opportunity to be with loved ones fills the holiday with smiles and happy memories. For others the holiday can be marked by dread, a renewed sense of loss, and loneliness. Fortunately, regardless of the meaning of the holiday, there are things any of us can do to make this Valentine’s Day happy.

First and foremost, spend time with others. If you are in a loving relationship Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity to refresh loving feelings and remind each other of your love. Even if you are not currently in a loving relationship find friends and acquaintances to spend parts of the day with. We are a social species so even when we can justify doing otherwise, being with others is uplifting-even if you see yourself as an introvert. This is especially true on days when the societal focus is on togetherness.

Take the day for its’ full value without the downward drag of pre-conceived notions and old hurts. Even loving partners go through periods of time when resentments and uncomfortable feelings emerge. Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity to put those feelings aside and refresh the feelings that put the resentments in their place as a small piece of a larger picture.

Use Valentine’s day as an opportunity to set the tone and direction of tomorrow. If you’ve been feeling lonely and alone, use the day to meet new people. If you’ve been feeling distant from your partner plan activities that bridge the gap (hint: romantic dinners are nice, but they don’t bridge gaps – shared activities bridge gaps). If you are feeling overwhelmed and pressured by the holiday, give in to the holiday and make the decision to put other pressures aside. Your love life is not something you get around to when everything else is done. If you are feeling in love with your partner make sure you say so in words, deeds, and a day spent in showing it.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!