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Valentines' Day blues and mental health

100 Mile House Free Press - 2/13/2024

Most of us associate Valentine's Day with the colors pink and red, but don't forget about blue. Whether you're single, navigating a recent breakup, or feeling disconnected from your partner, Valentine's Day can be overwhelming, stressful, and filled with anxiety.

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be about never-ending love; it can be about connecting with a great group of friends and, most importantly, about self-love. Don't let Valentine's Day ruin your week or put you in a funk. Take all those negative feelings, turn them upside down, and give new meaning to Valentine's Day. Here are a few ways to help you keep those feelings at bay so you can enjoy the day:

Embracing self-love - If you are feeling the Valentine's blues, take this opportunity to start a new tradition and make the day about loving yourself and your life. One way to combat the Valentine's blues is to shift the focus inward and focus on you! Take the opportunity to spend the day doing things that make you happy and bring you relaxation. Take time out of the day to read your favorite book, book yourself into a spa for a relaxing treatment, or indulge in your favorite meal. You are worth it, not just on Valentine's Day, but every day.

Cultivating gratitude - Practicing gratitude on Valentine's Day can help shift those blues away. Spend the day focusing on what is good in your life; the more you focus on the good, the good will get better. Gratitude can shift your focus from what you lack to what you have, fostering a sense of contentment and fulfillment.

Being single can be fun - Do you have single friends or family members? You are not alone; other singles are out there! Throw a singles party and enjoy the day or evening celebrating all the reasons you are happy to be single. You can use this chance to connect with other singles who are feeling the blues, too.

Don't go down memory lane - Going down memory lane can be so much fun at times and can be a good way of remembering things past. When it comes to remembering past relationships, Valentine's Day is not the day to do it. Try to avoid thinking about past loves and what could have been. Going down that road will only lead to more feelings of sadness and depression. You might find it helpful if, instead of remembering the past love, you make a list of all the reasons you shouldn't be together.

Social media time out - Scrolling through social media can negatively affect someone suffering from the Valentine's Day blues. Seeing photos of people in love and showing their affection for one another can trigger unwanted negative feelings. Try taking a break from social media; if that is not an option, find more cute animal videos to keep you busy.

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be one of sadness and regret; you can make the day one of personal growth and reflect on all the reasons why you are so awesome. Love comes in various forms, and you can use this day to transform the Valentine's blues into a day full of connecting with friends and family, appreciation, and positivity.

Remember to Be kind to yourself, practice self-care, and reach out for help if you need it. If you are needing support, you can:

• Contact CMHA South Cariboo for mental health support @ 250-395-4883.

• You can call the Emergency Crisis Line 24 hours a day @ 1-888-353-2273,

• Or you can call the Suicide Crisis Line at # 9-8-8. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Kristin Wells, CMHA Community Navigator