Dealing with Depression on Valentine’s Day

It’s close to Valentine’s Day and the stores are filled with heart-shaped boxed chocolates, flowers, stuffed animals and racks of Valentine’s Day cards. Valentine’s Day has become another huge marketing event in the U.S. that celebrates romantic love. But love doesn’t just celebrate romance; it embraces all types of love. Parents and grandparents will buy the kids something for Valentine’s Day and even friends may give each other a gift. Children may get their teacher a gift and some people buy their pets something special like a new toy or special treat.  

Valentine’s Day should be a time to express your love for someone who is special to you, not a time of dealing with depression. And who is more special than you? You are special too and on Valentine’s Day you should treat yourself especially well. If you are not involved in a romantic relationship and will be spending the day alone, it is important for you to have a plan prepared. It can be disheartening to be alone when everyone you know has plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their significant other. If you are recovering from substance abuse then you owe it to yourself to spend Valentine’s Day doing something that you enjoy.

Loving and treating yourself well is the best way to recover from the doldrums. It is easy to feel lonely and unloved when you are alone too much, and it may cause sadness, depression and despair. These are high-risk emotions that can trigger a slip back into relapse and you want to avoid that as much as possible. So instead celebrate yourself as you are now – sober, in control, single and with endless possibilities lying ahead of you. Celebrate your new life and all the plans you are making for your future. And most importantly, love yourself by being kind, patient, forgiving and loving toward yourself. Start to enjoy the things that make you happy and give you a sense of fulfillment.  

Here are some ways that you can make this Valentine’s Day special for you:  

  1. Get together with your single friends or family who will also be alone on Valentine’s Day. You can have a dinner party at your place or meet each other at a restaurant. It is a great way to reconnect with friends and catch up on things you may have missed. Spend time with people you enjoy and who enjoy you.
  2. Take a mini-vacation out of town to visit a friend or family member who will also be alone. A change of scenery might do you a world of good and your friend will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  3. Volunteer your services locally at a soup kitchen, church event or visit your buddies at your support group meeting place. Putting a smile on someone else’s face will make you feel great.
  4. Attend a concert or go to a movie that you have wanted to see. Invite a single friend to come along so you both don’t have to be alone.
  5. Spend the day at a spa and enjoy being pampered with a massage, a facial, a soak in the Jacuzzi, a manicure and pedicure, a new haircut etc. Some spas also have a gym and swimming pool and serve lunch. A spa is a great place to relax and unwind.
  6. If the weather permits, go camping with a friend and enjoy the great outdoors with some fishing, hiking, kayaking, etc.  
  7. Begin to redecorate your home by moving furniture around, painting the walls a new color, installing a much needed storage unit, etc. Clean out closets and drawers and donate what you don’t want to a good charity. A new set of towels for the bath and a new quilt for the bed may bring a smile to your face. Getting organized and creating an uplifting environment can do wonders for your spirit.  
  8. Take a class in something new like yoga or ballroom dancing, or enjoy a hobby like playing the piano, photography, journaling, etc.
  9. Go shopping and treat yourself to something you have wanted to buy.
  10. Exercise at the gym or go bicycling in the park.  Play tennis or golf with a friend or go swimming, dancing or skating.

There are many things you can do to occupy your time and have fun too. Remember that this is your time and your life, so create something special for yourself this Valentine’s Day.  Our staff at White Sands Treatment Center is always happy to help advise as well.  Please call us at (877) 855-3470.

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