How to deal with anxiety about being single around Valentine's Day
With love-themed advertisements and promotions all around, some people may feel extremely anxious about being single.
Valentine’s Day can be a great time for some, and just another day for others. But with love-themed advertisements and promotions all around, some people may feel extremely anxious about being single. If you’re happy being single and have no anxiety issues, good for you.
But if you’re finding it difficult to breathe easily as 14 February approaches, here are some things you should avoid doing:
1. Don’t call an ex
Leave the past where it belongs. You may feel lonely now but that doesn’t mean you turn to something you already know doesn’t work. Just because it seems like everyone has partnered up doesn’t mean it’s true - remind yourself that this is only an opportunity for brands to sell more merch.
2. Don’t say yes to that date
Just because it’s Valentine’s Day, you don’t need to settle for someone you’re not all that interested in. Don’t let the pressure get to you. The Valentine’s day ads will disappear but your half-hearted relationship won’t. Also, no one deserves to have their feelings toyed with in that manner.
3. Don’t pretend you are okay
It’s okay to not be okay. Be real about your struggle, let your friends or cousins know that you’re having a tough time or are feeling low. They’ll know to check on you from time to time.
4. Don’t take a trip down memory lane
Everyone has some equivalent of a shoebox that holds old photos, gifts, cards, letters and movie stamps. Don’t bring it out and start going through it chronologically. It’s in the past for a reason, revising only the happy times can give you a false impression of how the relationship was overall. Yes, even if you went through it yourself.
5. Don’t feel alone
We know it may seem like it sometimes, but you’re not the only one feeling the way you are. If you just look around and talk to your friends and maybe even coworkers, you’ll come to realise many people feel a little bit more lovely around Valentine’s Day. Find peace in solidarity and you won’t feel so alone anymore. This month of love doesn’t need to be all about romantic love after all.
6. Don’t ignore the signs
Whether you’ve broken up recently or a while back, everyone has their own pace of getting over relationships. But if you’re under severe mental stress and even experiencing physical pain, it’s best to reach out to a doctor. In some cases, extreme stress can escalate into serious health conditions like stress-induced cardiomyopathy (or broken heart syndrome) and depression. Reach out to a medical professional or a therapist if you feel like you need help.
Now that we’ve covered what you shouldn’t do, let’s move on to what you could do instead, especially if you’re feeling extremely anxious. Firstly, don’t hide under the covers with plans to stay in bed all day long, watching sappy rom-coms on the television and binging on junk food. Secondly, pick one of the following ideas and plan your Valentine’s Day (or night) around that:
If you’re working or studying, try starting your day a little earlier than usual. Use the extra time to practise some much-needed self-care. It can be anything from a relaxing bath with essential oils to having a private dance party in your pyjamas. If you’re looking for something simpler, try meditation, reading a book or going for a walk in the sun. Do what makes you happy and helps you stay healthy - mentally and/or physically.
Get your best girlfriends together for drinks and dinner at your favourite pub. They’re the ones who’re always there for you, through thick and thin, and never let you go through something difficult alone. Extend the invite to friends who are in a relationship (especially the ones doing long-distance) as well - you never know when someone may need some girl-time. You can even bring them a little something like a card with a small note about how much you appreciate them or if you’re not one for words, it can even be your favourite candy or comic for when you became friends - inexpensive but meaningful.
Boys, you can do this with your guy friends, too. You know your boys will come if you offer to get the first round of beers.
One of the best ways to spend your time is to find a cause you care about and volunteer your time to it. For example, you can find a local animal shelter or old-age home that could use you for a few hours - you may even return there once you realize how much the people there appreciate your company. You don’t need any skills or donations for this - sometimes they just need someone who would listen to them with a smile. Make sure you call ahead if you choose a popular centre, though. With Valentine’s being a weekend, they might have an overflow of volunteers and ask you to come during certain hours.
It’s pretty amazing to have Valentine’s Day fall on a Friday - and not just for couples. If your friends are busy and you want to get out of the house to escape your family members for a bit, book yourself a staycation in a hotel nearby. Pack your essentials, your comfiest night suit, a facemask and head on over. A relaxing weekend with room-service will have you feeling re-energized to face the world with a brave face come Monday. If you’re not the comfort kind of person, you can even plan a solo-trek to take a break from the hustle-bustle of the city and then head to your staycation; it’s the best of both worlds.
Note: If you have a crush on someone, and only the fear of rejection is holding you back, then you have an opportunity to get rid of two anxieties at once. It’s better to know than wonder, so do a few practise run-throughs in front of the mirror and ask your crush out! What’s the worst that can happen? They’ll say no? At least you can move on then.
For more information, read our article on Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
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