Valentines. A day of chocolates, roses, love and romance.  I mean all the commercials say so: the handsome guy brings the beautiful girl a bouquet of flowers, or maybe even a diamond bracelet. They embrace, kiss, and happily disappear into the sunset.  What?  It’s not like that for you?  Well what’s wrong with you?

Here’s my answer…NOTHING. What’s wrong is the expectation that’s been planted in your head by people who want to sell you something–florists, candy makers, Hallmark, jewelers. They paint such lovely pictures, don’t they?  Problem is, those pictures are not real.

What is real is that some of us feel sad and depressed on Valentines.  Maybe we’ve lost our partner, or perhaps never had one.  Others of us have just had a fight, and we’d rather stick pins in our eyes than be all lovey-dovey.  These are real circumstances that don’t come close to matching the picture.

So what do you do to help yourself?   Here are some suggestions:

  • Ignore the pictures, erase the unreal expectations and simply be in the moment. Feel what you feel–loving, sad, joyful, lonely, angry, depressed.  It’s all okay.  Stuffing your feelings is bad for your body and your soul.
  • Instead of waiting for someone else to make you feel special, do special things for yourself: get a massage, luxuriate in bed with a cup of tea, have a chat with a good friend, help someone in need, smile and say hello to strangers.  You’ll be surprised how these small things can turn around your mood.
  • Watch your thoughts. Wipe out any that buy into the picture and invite depression.  Sweep them away and replace them with good stuff about you.  Can’t think of good stuff?  How about these: Are you a good friend?  Do you lovingly care for that sweet pet of yours?  Do you volunteer at a local shelter? Do you try to see the good in people?  Are you friendly with the cashier at the grocery store, the waitress who serves you dinner, your housekeeper?  These seemingly small things will ripple out and make a big splash in your life.

In short, stop moaning on Valentines Day about not having a love in your life, or not getting the gift you want.  Give yourself love.  Self-love is the greatest gift of all.  Coming from inside, it’s always accessible to you.  No one else needed.

Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for more tips and insights for living a more satisfying life.  You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com

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