Valentine’s Day can be depressing for single women or even couples who are having issues (or couples who just don't like the concept of this day), and it can be even worse for women who already have depression. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy V-Day, or “Singles Awareness Day,” in spite of depression.
The first step to enjoying Feb. 14 is to decide whether you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day, or just treat it like a regular day.
Although you might be bombarded with hearts, flowers, chocolates and stuffed animals in stores and in the hands of other people, it is possible to ignore this Hallmark holiday. Simply follow your usual schedule and realize this is just like any other day, except more people are buying gifts for each other and going on dates. Many people agree that significant others should show appreciation for each other every day, and that Valentine’s Day is a day for profit.
There is the other route, which is to celebrate Feb. 14 as Singles Awareness Day or just as a day to appreciate yourself and friends. You can even follow some of these suggestions if you treat Feb. 14 as just a regular day, and learn to incorporate all into your life. This list is also assuming you have some time during the day, or even the day off. Realistically, you would probably only be able to do one or two of these, but you get to pick from a variety of choices.
1) Go get a massage. The book “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Depression” states that massages can help relieve some symptoms of depression. If you can afford it, try getting one once a week and see if it improves your life.
2) Take a fun class. The book suggests learning something new could make you feel better about yourself, besides having fun in general. Have you always wanted to learn how to kickbox or sew? Now’s the time to start – this day’s devoted to your wonderful self. And who knows, if you’re looking for more friends or even a significant other, this is another outlet to meet more people. Having a strong support system of family and friends (new and old) can also help with depression.
3) Even though Valentine’s Day might be useless to you, at least the candy’s tasty. Give in to your sweet tooth and buy some chocolates or Sweethearts. One day off your healthy diet won’t kill you, and if you don’t overdo it this treat can feel great.
4) Go for a run or try another form of exercise. This is not necessary for today specifically, but exercise over time can make you feel less depressed or relieve some symptoms. For some excitement, try a new workout class or run somewhere different and beautiful, like a park.
5) Watch cute romantic movies, but also realize how unrealistic they are. There are bound to be Valentine's Day marathons on TV, just make sure this doesn't depress you more before turning those movies on.
6) Treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, maybe even a hair trim or color. Do something to show you love yourself on Singles Awareness Day. You are No. 1 on this day. Unless of course you choose to pick a friend or friends to devote your love to on this day, then you can all go together.
7) Buy a present for yourself. This is one thing that many singles can appreciate on Singles Awareness Day. You don’t have to worry about a significant other wasting precious money on flowers that will die in a week and a cheesy stuffed animal or jewelry that isn’t your style. You can buy a gift using the money that would’ve been spent on a significant other (or spent on you by a significant other). Or you can buy something for yourself and friends.
8) Pretend you’re in middle school again. Buy those little packs of Valentine’s Day cards and candy and hand them out to your friends. This can bring out some laughs and allow you to have some moments of nostalgia. And it’s nice to remember those days when it wasn’t as big of a deal to have a boyfriend on this day. Plus if you all decide to get cards for each other, that can be a self-esteem booster after reading all those nice things they say about you (hopefully).
9) Accomplish something you’ve been putting off. While everyone else is busy going on dates and buying last-minute gifts, you can be doing something productive, like cleaning, fixing something broken or finishing an assignment. Or you can just take the day off and try one of the other tips, your choice.
10) Go to a Singles Awareness Day party or go out to dinner and movies or do something else with your single (or taken) friends. You can make this day all about fun and caring about others (romantically or not). It’s your choice whether you want this to be a positive or negative day. It shouldn’t matter whether you have a significant other or not.
11) If at the end of the day you really do just want someone of the romantic variety, give that man (or woman) you’ve been pushing aside a chance. If you don’t have one of those, it could be time to express your interest in a crush before the “big day,” or even try a dating site. But remember, if you don’t find someone, you can still have plenty of fun following the above tips.
12) After a day of fun and exciting events, it’s now time to give yourself the sleep you deserve. Get those full eight hours of sleep, make sure the temperature’s at the right level and that you’re not starving before attempting to take a snooze. Basically, the book suggests being comfortable right before you sleep to get full benefits, which could lead to a happier and healthier life.
What are some ways you cope with having depression on romantic holidays like Valentine's Day if you have or don't have a significant other?