Valentine’s Day is a day for couples, families, friends, and even individuals to show their love for each other, but it can be difficult for those who have recently gone through a divorce to celebrate. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the upcoming holiday, know that you are not alone. Here is some helpful advice on how to navigate the emotions associated with Valentine’s Day after divorce.
Allow Yourself to Feel Your Feelings
It is important to acknowledge and accept your feelings during this time. Don’t try to push away or ignore your emotions as they come up.
Allow yourself to feel them and process them in whatever way works best for you. This could be talking with a friend, writing in a journal, going for a walk, or calling your therapist or lawyer. Whatever helps you feel better is what you should do.
Focus on Self-Care
Valentine’s Day is often associated with expensive gifts, romantic dinners out, and lots of time spent with loved ones. After divorce, it can be hard to not compare our lives to others who may appear “happier” than we are.
Instead of comparing yourself to others or trying to fit into the traditional expectations of Valentine’s Day, focus instead on taking care of yourself and doing things that make you feel good and bring joy into your life. This could include spending time alone doing something that relaxes you or spending time with friends doing activities that make you laugh and smile. A great act of self-care can also include avoiding social media as that can trigger envy or feelings of jealousy.
Remember That You Are Not Alone
Divorce can be a very lonely experience and it is easy to feel isolated during the holidays when so many couples are celebrating together. But remember that there are other divorcees who may also be feeling overwhelmed by their current situation too—you are not alone!
Reach out via text or phone call to check in with someone who has gone through (or is going through) a similar situation as yours; having someone understand where you’re coming from can go a long way in helping ease the loneliness of this season.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about romantic relationships; it can also be about celebrating love with family and friends! Spend time with people who make you feel supported and appreciated. Whether it’s having dinner with your parents or going out for drinks with friends, enjoying quality time with those close to you will help lift your spirits and create lasting memories.
Celebrate Your Freedom
Instead of mourning over what could have been, try looking at Valentine’s Day through a different lens—as an opportunity to celebrate the freedom you now have. Take some time off work and invest in a hobby that you always wanted to try but never had the chance before due to prior commitments. Enjoying activities that bring value into your life will help remind you of how much potential there is ahead of you during this new chapter in life.
No matter how difficult it may feel right now, know that this season will pass and things will get easier soon enough. And don't forget that there are people around you who care about you and want nothing more than for you to find happiness again—even if it doesn't look like what society deems “normal."
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