how-to-survive-valentines-day-in-three-easy-stepsAh, Valentine’s Day.  The single Hallmark holiday that has evoked a love/hate relationship in all of us throughout life. Whether single or in a couple, it can be a doozy to get through.  Today I’m going to share with you three steps to never look upon this holiday with dread again. Be free, my friends!

STEP 1: Take the pressure off.

I remember the days when Valentine’s Day made me miserable.  Contrary to popular belief I agonized more when I was part of a couple than when I was single. I felt entitled. It’s Valentine’s Day. Make me feel special.  That’s not good enough.  You call that a gift?  What do you mean you don’t have anything planned?! Oh man. It was bad. The torment wasn’t reserved for that day, either. Oh no, my friends.  That “You better rock my world” sign started appearing on my forehead weeks in advance, building up to the ultimate disappointment.  It didn’t matter what the gesture of love was, it just wasn’t good enough.  The years when my husband went all out and I was satisfied, it was ridiculous.  We’re talking hotel for the weekend, restaurant reservations, roses and a card at the table before I arrived, petals and gifts in the hotel room as I walked in the door, mani pedis, massages, facials..etc – and that was just ONE Valentine’s Day.  It was insane. Correction, I was insane.  Don’t do this to yourself or your loved ones.  Valentine’s Day is only as important as you make it.  Don’t be jaded about it by any means. It’s wonderful to share love with others – but if you build this day up in your mind to be some holy grail of holidays, you’re going to stress yourself and those around you.

STEP 2: Love others.

Ask me what I did for my husband or anyone else on Valentine’s Day all those forlorn years.  Go ahead, ask…because I have no idea.  It wasn’t about them, it was about ME.  I was so needy to feel significant that it hardly crossed my mind that I had the power to make others feel special. Sound familiar?  Use this day to express your love to others.  Get out of the house and do some extra acts of kindness while you’re out there.  Smile.  Engage others in conversation. Call your parents.  Let your friends know how much they mean to you. If you’re in a couple, be thoughtful and do something sentimental.  If you have kiddos, hand-write a little note detailing all the things you love about them, roll it into a scroll, tie it with a ribbon, and let them read (or read to them) on Valentine’s Day.  Get creative!  Make it about others, and put your heart and soul into it…get your satisfaction from the love you shared, not from their reaction or what they gave in return.  Put your mind on loving those around you, and keep it there. If it turns back to what was not done for you, what was not appreciated, etc, you’re back in that danger zone.

STEP 3: Love yourself.

You rock! Be grateful for the awesome privilege it is to be you!  No one else has the unique combination of personality traits, strengths, talents, and abilities that you have.  Pat yourself on the back.  Give yourself a hug.  Out of all the billions of people who have lived, you were chosen to live now, with the rest of us, because we need you to be fully you.  So express yourself, give of yourself, know that your presence is a gift.  Be deeply appreciative of others, because they are a gift as well.  Revel in the simplicity of human nature, the joy of being alive, and the pleasures we have access to through each of our senses. Enjoy yourself!  The more you genuinely do this, the more positive experiences and people you will attract into your life.  Soon you won’t care what day it is, you will be so full of love that you’ll be looking for who to share it with.

So there you have it.  Three easy steps you can implement today to not only survive the day, but thrive!

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dears! xo

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