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by Katie Bailey, MA, LPC

Valentine’s Day is upon us. For some of us, that’s great, we enjoy a fun night out with our special someone. For others of us, it’s just plain awful. Valentine’s Day and social media together is a bad combo – we are inundated with photos of happy, loving, connected people like water through a fire hose. The pressure to have that perfect relationship can be overwhelming.

Here’s the reality: everyone has struggles. No one’s situation is perfect.

If you are having a hard time with Valentine’s Day this year, I hear you. It’s okay. For all of you out there who:

  • Have lost a loved one, and miss that person so much it physically hurts.
  • Have had an unhealthy relationship end, and aren’t sure if you’ll ever find someone to love again.
  • Are in an unhappy marriage, feel stuck, and don’t know how to turn things around.
  • Feel like you are destined to be alone forever. You wonder, what’s wrong with me?
  • Have never actually experienced love as it should be, and you are always trying to earn other’s love and attention.

To ALL of you – I’m giving you permission to have a no pressure Valentine’s Day.

How do you do more than just survive Valentine’s Day?

  • Shift your thinking. Valentine’s Day is not the end all be all of the world. It’s one day, really, meant to get people to spend money on cards, candy and flowers.
  • Stay off social media. Seriously. There’s no benefit to scrolling through other’s posts and believing that everyone else in the world is in love and happy and you’re not.
  • Make a thankful list. When we make an effort to be thankful, it actually rewires connections in our brains. Be thankful that bad relationship ended, you had time with that special person before they died, or anything at all.
  • Do a relationship checkup. If you are in an unhappy marriage, sit down with your partner and talk about the things you have been avoiding. Lack of communication is easily the number one troublemaker for couples. I know many topics are hard to say out loud; but trust me, ignoring them makes it worse. Acknowledge the elephant in the room.
  • Recognize the other important people in your life. Maybe you don’t have a romantic relationship now, but you likely have friends and family who love you. Those relationships add meaning to our lives as well. Spend time with those people and acknowledge the value they add to your life.
  • Focus on other people. Here’s the truth: life is hard, and all of us struggle. Life is truly a team sport, and we are all, in fact, on the same team. Find somewhere to volunteer, reach out to a neighbor, make a meal for someone who is sick or just had a baby. Find a way to help out and connect with those around you. You will feel better for it, for sure.

Valentine’s Day might not look like how you want it to look. That’s okay. The pressure is off if you allow it to be.

If You Are Stuck, Start Counseling in Ambler, PA

When you feel stuck, like none of these ideas will make a difference, the pain is just to great, you don’t know what step to take next, professional counseling can help. Our team of experts at Lime Tree Counseling are here to help you. We specialize in anxiety therapy, trauma & PTSD treatment, and marriage counseling. We even have a culturally sensitive counseling specialist, and all of our counselors offer faith-based Christian counseling. Please contact us today to get started. We want to help you live life as you were made to live!