Dealing with Valentine’s Day depression

But it’s only once a year; how bad can it get, really? Pretty bad. Surviving February 14th is doable, and most of us make it to February 15th without feeling emotionally scarred for life. It’s only 24 hours, right? Minus sleep, minus work. So, a petty 8 hours, give or take. But it’s not really about surviving St. Valentine’s in one piece, is it? It’s the subliminal momentum of lacking that gets us in the end. All the hearts, teddy bears, and roses scream: “You are not lovable. You pathetic excuse for an emotional apparatus. Have you no shame?” Oh, and the echo; that one’s also tricky. For the ones who have (yet again?) failed to find their soulmate, twin flame, the apple of their eye, February 14th is a fairly medieval experience: Witches! To the stake! Let’s have an honest conversation about Valentine’s day depression.

Why Valentine’s Day hurts

Why wouldn’t it? It’s a game of utter taunting. FOMO, alive and well. “Look at yourself. You’re so alone. You have no one. – Look at me. I am loved. I deserve to be loved. Do you? Why are you alone, then? What’s wrong with you?” – We get the picture. The next thing we know, we’re trying to find the best online therapy for depression available because what else is there to do? There really is something majestically wrong with us. As colonies of lovers across the earthly plane march in unconditional unison, we find ourselves gazing out at the idyllic scene beyond our window with nothing to cover our metaphysical wounds but the uproar of solitude. Oh, the hurt. Thank you, Mr. St. Valentine. The man knows how to throw a party, hey. Ever heard of inclusion?

woman sitting next to window, gazing out
Valentine’s Day depression? You’re not alone, buddy.

St. Valentine of Rome: background check

History time. So, who was St. Valentine? By some accounts (alas, it was a long time ago), St. Valentine was a Roman physician and a priest who refused to deny Christ before the great emperor Claudius II Gothicus and suffered martyrdom around 270. The persecution of Christians was in full swing at that time. Now, fun facts:

  • The rumor has it St. Valentine married couples to spare the husbands from going to war
  • February 14th was the date he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate
  • St. Valentine may have been two different men
  • The name is quite frequent: there are about a dozen of St. Valentines on record, plus a pope
  • A medieval English poet by the name of Geoffrey Chaucer may have (accidentally) invented Valentine’s day
  • St. Valentine was a versatile, prolific persona; after all, he was the patron saint of lovers, epilepsy, and beekeepers. Sense? None. We love it. Oh, feel free to add traveling, plague, and fainting to the mix.

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Valentine’s Day depression: reasons

Breakups? Sure, but that one’s way too easy. Apart from parting, there are several other reasons behind feeling hopeless and irretrievably depressed in mid-February. And we wonder why the search for top online therapy skyrockets around Valentine’s Day. This goes for couples, too:

  1. social pressure
  2. unattainable expectations
  3. romantic failure memory lane
  4. double-edge razor: rejection
"stress" written in red on white background depicts Valentine Day's depression
The pressure is on.

Social pressure

Valentine’s Day is not a national holiday, but it certainly feels like one. Love and utter havoc. Surely, if we’re single, it will sting differently: the subconscious noose of society’s orchestral pressure sends a heartwrenching subliminal note, and it says: “Just kidding. No notes for you. Your mailbox is empty.”

On the other hand, couples experience their share of dread. The pressure? Not at all subtle. The fabricated importance can stress couples out and tie an “obligation noose” around their necks. “Do you love them? Show it. Put in the effort. Take a day off. Surprises. Fireworks! Ethereal matter! Magic!” The pressure is real; many in committed relationships have no choice but to look for the best online marriage and family therapy programs. It’s a race, and nobody’s winning, really.

Unattainable expectations

Suffering from a severe case of Valentine’s Day depression? You, me, and everyone else. The expectation tide is high. The human need to feel special peaks on February 14th. Why? Because we’re wired for comparison. And competition. People don’t get neurotic around their anniversary, do they? Why? Because they’re not competing with other couples. Valentine’s day is like a global marathon. Who loves the best? Show me how special I am to you. We all feel the pressure to deliver. To not disappoint. – The same goes for adolescents whose parents struggle to find the best online therapy for teens because their valentine ran over the bouquet with their car.  Suicide attempts skyrocket around the holy day of love. Ironic?

Romantic failure memory lane

The day of holy Reminiscing. Beautiful, isn’t it? The entire world is celebrating love, so ruminating about past loves and all the mistakes and pain and transience, and getting old and the possibility of adopting barges of cats – thought train, you know it. Single people really do have it rough on Valentine’s Day. Your elderly neighbors are taunting you,  your entire social circle goes M.I.A. in their romantic endeavors – you taunt YOU. Not belonging is a sad affair. No one to come home to while the feather-like hearts celebrate their sense of belonging. So, what do we do? We play Sonic Youth’s “Superstar” and wither away.

Double-edge razor: rejection

Valentine’s Day is notorious for breaking hearts. Funny, no? The hype is too strong to be ignored. It pulls us in involuntarily. And we lose touch with reality just like that; it compels us into impulsive doing. Many decide to come clean about their simmering emotions toward that special someone; because why not? Today is the day to do it. Well, not quite. The connotation of Valentine’s Day is too intoxicating for us to bare a rejection. Taking no for an answer is often not an option, thus, leading to an astonishing number of suicide attempts and severe depression.

woman in beige sweater rejecting man in red jacket
“NO”- possibly the most painful word ever invented.

Valentine’s Day Depression: how to stay afloat

So, when the clock strikes midnight and sorrow comes hurtling through our tear ducts, what are we to do? “Who’s going to save my soul now?”- We are. Chin up. We can do this. First thing: Love hasn’t abandoned us. Second thing: We are loved. – Maybe not romantically at this particular time, but, hey. Maybe singlehood is a good idea right now. Maybe it suits our sage man/woman lifestyle; for the time being, at least. Nothing is permanent. Everything flows; and changes. Perpetually. So, now, on to the good bits. Here’s how to defy the benevolent cruelty of Valentine’s Day.

Singlehood grandeur

Love and its many forms; what do we know about self-love? It’s where all other shapes, shades, and forms stem from; “You can’t love someone until you learn to love yourself.” Sounds familiar? Oh, only because it’s true. We truly can’t. For single folks, Valentine’s day should be about self-indulging. The wallet is our limit:

  • Shopping
  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Skydiving
  • Hiking
  • Drag racing
  • Manicure/pedicure

You get it. Focusing on how alone and miserable we are will probably not do us any good. Dwelling on our romantic plane’s demise is okay for a moment or two. We’re human, so it’s allowed. Staying in bed and waiting for it to pass is one way to do it – but we don’t recommend it. Find a diversion. Defy your loneliness. Dare to enjoy your own company.

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Screen time timer

Valentine’s Day + social media? Devastation. Catastrophe. Pain. Avoiding social media platforms is the way to keep our weary minds and lonesome hearts afloat. Oh, and it’s not just our friends and their romantic partners; it’s the whole internet. Pop-up ads will have our souls for breakfast. If we’re feeling low, indulging in excessive screen time can be a scarring experience, as the feelings of isolation, loneliness, self-doubt, sadness, and the rest of the nasty bunch can disproportionally increase. Willing to gamble? We vote – sanity. Social media detox is a way to avoid getting intentionally or unintentionally caught up in other people’s intimate celebrations. The best antidote? The classic “It’s my party” by Lesley Gore. Maybe have a glass of champagne.

heart and zero neon sign on social media depict Valentine's Day depression
Is this how you plan on spending Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day depression comrades

Party for one? We could. But where’s the fun in that? The chances are, we’re not the only ones feeling teary and left out. Friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors; we all share the struggle. Get together, and do your own little thing. And, no, we’re not saying: throw a memorable pity party; that’s not what we’re trying to achieve on Valentine’s Day. No. Commiserating is one way to go about it, but it leaves room for disappointment. Ideally, we want to silence the heavy heart symptom and not glorify misery. Instead, we could (and should) surround ourselves with people who make us feel good. Or at least – okay (bare minimum expectations). Find your Valentine’s Day buddy (even better, plural) and:

  • go out for drinks
  • have a movie night
  • have a barbecue
  • plan a game night
  • sing karaoke
  • go for a picnic (if you live somewhere warm)

Someone else’s hero

Let’s dwell on this for a second: is not having a relationship that much of a colossal disaster? Are we a failure? Are we the unluckiest man/woman on Earth for not having a significant other? Pining is a privilege. There is so much tragedy in this world; suffering. If heartbreak is our biggest worry, we should consider ourselves one the lucky ones. But let’s not get too dark now. Anyhow, Valentine’s Day gives us the opportunity to do some good and help the ones in need. It may not be New Year’s Eve, but Santa Claus is alive and working his magic on the DL. Do:

  • spend time with a friend in need; ask them out, bring them dinner, buy them flowers
  • help the elderly neighbor; paint their fence, bake them cookies
  • volunteer; visit a soup kitchen, donate shoes and clothes
  • surprise a stranger; buy your local bodega’s cashier a coffee

Hey, feelings; do come in

Finally, we need to confront the discomfort. Make it a meaningful, liberating experience. DIY therapy? Why not? Let it all out. Of course, we’re not saying: oh, by all means, do redecorate by using the infamous “smash it to bits” technique. We want it productive, not destructive. A fine distinction. Suppressing feelings of anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, and depression is a common reaction to overwhelming inner processes.

“Can’t deal with this now, must stay afloat. Will deal with it later.”  No, let’s do it now. Journaling and other forms of expression can help immensely when we’re down, be it painting, sculpting, dancing, or haiku. Start now, and who knows – maybe we’ll tear it all up and throw it away, or maybe we’ll put it away and come back to it. Choosing one of the best online art therapy programs can make all the difference. Valentine’s Day blues? What? Who?

young woman in beige turtleneck painting as a way to deal with Valentine's Day depression
Let it all out.

Blues and substance use

Valentine’s Day depression is real, and it can make us suffer. What do we do when we’re in pain? We look for ways to alleviate the heavy heart symptom. When saturated with feelings of rejection, despair, and self-loathing, using alcohol, marijuana, and other substances may seem like a good idea. It takes the pain away, no? Surely, for a brief second. But we know what awaits: a downward spiral. The vicious cycle of addiction. That’s no way to fight off depression or any other mental health issue. There are ways, better ways (such as exercise). Depression and substance use are a dangerous combo. Don’t go down that road.

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We’ve all been there. Loneliness is, indeed, a sad affair. But can (and should) it prevent us from enjoying life? Tell us, St. Valentine, can it? Of course not. Hey, remember, it’s just another day. Nothing special. Nothing fancy about it. It will pass. And we will find love again. And possibly part ways and then find yet another love. Life is of cyclical structure. It loves change. So enjoy every cycle. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day depression, no matter how seemingly impossible the endeavor is. If you find that your mental health needs a pair of helping ears (or hands), we’re here. You can find all the best online therapy services and providers right here at your Consumer Opinion Guide. Our experts have all the information a lonesome little raindrop could ever need.



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