1) Make Valentine’s Day a “Tribute Day.” Pay Tribute to yourself for all you’ve been through! Give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far and use this natural opportunity to facilitate your healing, by allowing yourself to grieve today. You can think about what made your relationship special and say a proper goodbye. You can also say goodbye to parts of your relationship that may have been very difficult, and that you may be happy to be rid of. Be proud of your own resilience. Give yourself credit for the fact that you may have survived a challenging situation. Focus on how you now have the opportunity to reconnect with your strengths, and create something better for yourself in the future.
2) Reach out, but never to an Ex. Remember that you are not alone. Many people are struggling today, and would love the opportunity to connect with you. Investing in healthy new relationships will help you rebuild the network of support that you may have lost when so much of your time and energy was going in to your partner, at the expense of your other relationships. Open up to people who have earned the right to listen. But never reach out to an Ex– a clean break is better for both of you.
3) Brighten Someone Else’s Day. Doing something kind for someone else, without any expectation of appreciation or reciprocity, is the quickest way to lift your mood. Seek every opportunity to make someone else’s day great, and you’ll feel good too.
4) Be Your Own Valentine. Practice loving yourself, instead of waiting for some one else to love you. Think about what makes you happy, and then make it a point to give that to your self today. Reclaiming your joy, and loving yourself, will help you get your power back.
5) Avoid Idealizing Valentine’s Day. There is a powerful message from advertisements, retailers, and your Facebook feed that everyone else in the world is happy, in love, and being showered with gifts today. Do not get tricked into believing that. Valentine’s Day can be extremely challenging for many people, even those in relationships.
6) Use Valentine’s Day to Grow. Use this day to reflect upon the essential life-lessons past relationships taught you, and process some of the “unfinished emotional business” that may be making it difficult for you to move forward. You can also do some day-dreaming about what a happy, healthy relationship means to you. Visualize yourself being happy, or do some journaling to get clarity. Even make a vision board. Once you have a clear vision of what you want, you can start making a plan to create a happier relationship in the future.
Dr. Lisa Bobby is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychotherapist, and a Board Certified Life Coach. She is a contributing expert to EXaholics.com and founder of Growingself.com