There are a lot of mixed emotions surrounding Valentine’s Day. People seem to either love the holiday or dread it. Unfortunately, for many people, regardless of their relationship status, this day designated to celebrate love can impact people’s mental health by causing a lot of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Starting shortly after every new year, we’re bombarded with Valentine-themed ads- for flowers, party goods, jewelry, and even food products (think edible bouquets, chocolate-covered strawberries, and charcuterie boards). As a result, there’s a lot of pressure for couples to make the day “perfect,” and for those who are not in a relationship, the constant reminder can be painful. This type of stress can take a toll on anyone’s mental health.

mental health

The connection between Valentine’s Day and mental health

The constant barrage of messages about romance and love associated with Valentine’s Day can become triggers for many people. They can exacerbate anxiety and depression whether you are in a relationship or not.

Valentine’s Day isn’t typically associated with depression, but for people who have recently gone through a breakup or are dealing with constant disappointment in their love life, Valentine’s Day can be a stressful event.

Part of what makes Valentine’s Day so stressful is the pressure to make the day “epic.” Social media can contribute to this pressure as people tend to compare their own lives to the idyllic, filtered versions of the holiday in ads and the curated highlight reels. Scrolling through enough of this can easily lead to feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, and fear of missing out (FOMO). It can also lead to many unrealistic expectations and resentment for those in relationships who have constantly seen videos and pictures of proposals and extravagant dates leading up to Valentine’s Day. However, it’s essential to remember that this social media content most likely captures a precisely planned moment- just a snippet of another person’s life.

Why self care around Valentine’s Day is important

If you’re having symptoms of anxiety and depression around Valentine’s Day, it’s important to set aside time for self-care. While self-care looks different for everyone, here are some common self-care practices:

  • Mindfulness and meditation exercises

  • Journaling

  • Coloring books

  • Getting out in nature

  • Listening to music

  • Having a Netflix and chill night

  • Pampering yourself

Making self-care a routine practice has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and make it easier to cope if emotions become too strong.

Use Valentine’s Day to nurture the relationships you have

Valentine’s Day doesn’t always have to be romantic. It can also be a time to nurture other relationships in your life.

It’s a perfect time to make plans with friends or family. Even if it’s not a romantic occasion, spending time with people you care about and who value you is a great boost for your mood and overall well-being.

Some ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day:

  • A girls’ night out to celebrate “Galentine’s Day.”

  • A local get-together for singles.

  • Video get-together with friends or relatives that may live far away.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day life. If you are in a relationship, intentionally spending planned, quality time together without distractions is crucial- and not just around Valentine’s Day.

If you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day, try making reservations or buying tickets ahead of time. Not waiting until the last minute to make plans or buy gifts will eliminate a lot of stress and anxiety.

If you’re struggling with emotions related to Valentine’s Day, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You don’t have to feel alone. At Serene Health, we offer late evening and weekend appointments from our Telehealth platform so you can speak to a therapist from the location of your choice. Call us at 844-737-3638 or visit www.serenehealth.com to book an appointment.