14 Feb 2024

Love Beyond the Pressure: Celebrate Yourself and Your Friends This Valentine’s Day

By Dawn Henley, Psychotherapist, Counsellor & Psychosexual Therapist

Valentine’s Day, with its barrage of commercials, love songs, and social media filters, can easily create a warped picture of love and leave you feeling isolated if you are single. But remember, love exists in countless forms, and this day is about celebrating all the love that enriches your life, starting with the most important one: yourself.

Shifting Your Perspective:

• Love beyond romance: Instead of focusing solely on romantic partnerships, consider this an opportunity to celebrate the diverse forms of love, like the unwavering and enduring love of friendships. Share a meaningful experience with loved ones, be it family, colleagues, or anyone who holds a special place in your heart.
Tips for a Self-Love and Connection Celebration:
• Self-care is king (or queen): Pamper yourself! Treat yourself to a spa day, a quiet meditation session, or indulge in an activity that helps you unwind and recharge. Remember, prioritising your well-being is an act of self-love and sets the stage for deeper connections.

• Connect with your chosen family: Plan a fun-filled activity with friends, colleagues, or loved ones who support and lift you up. Ditch the typical Valentine’s Day themes and focus on experiences that strengthen your bonds, like playing games, enjoying a meal, or exploring a new hobby together.

• Embrace vulnerability: Don’t shy away from sharing your feelings with those you trust. Open communication about how you’re navigating this day can foster deeper connections and offer valuable support.

• Challenge societal expectations: Take a break from the constant stream of curated online perfection. Remember, real life looks different. Watch movies or read books that celebrate diverse and meaningful relationships, not just romantic ones.

• Spread kindness: Know someone going through a tough time? Send them a thoughtful note, offer a helping hand, or simply reach out to let them know you’re thinking of them. Spreading kindness strengthens our communities and builds connections beyond oneself.

• Do what makes you happy: Forget societal expectations! Watch documentaries, binge your favourite show, or pursue a creative project. This day is about celebrating what brings you joy and celebrating yourself.

• Prioritise your well-being: If Valentine’s Day stirs up challenging emotions, prioritise self-care. Cook a delicious meal, take a relaxing bath, or do something nourishing for your mind and body. Remember, you deserve to feel good.

Remember: You are not alone. Celebrate the diverse forms of love in your life, embrace the connections that bring you joy, and most importantly, celebrate yourself. This Valentine’s Day, choose your own definition of love, prioritise self-love, and forge meaningful connections beyond the pressure of traditional expectations.

The Eaves Counselling and Psychology

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