Valentine's Day can be a difficult day for those in recovery for many different, personal reasons. For some people, it may bring back mixed emotions about past relationships that have since come to an end. For others, it may be a day that they used to associate with heavy substance use. It could also be a day in which some people are mourning a loved one whom they would have spent this day with in the past.
No matter what your relationship may be with this holiday, when all is said and done, it is nothing more than just a day. It will come, and it will pass. How you spend it is totally up to you. There are lots of ways that you can really enjoy Valentine's Day while remaining sober and committed to your recovery. Just be sure to keep an open mind and keep your expectations flexible.
Celebrate a Sober Valentine's Day With Those You Love
Even though Valentine's Day is often associated with romance, it doesn't have to be. The point of this holiday is to celebrate love, in whatever form that you choose. All love is worth celebrating; it doesn't have to be romantic love. Consider celebrating the love you have with your friends, family members, or even your children. This can be done through spending quality time with them doing activities that you all enjoy.
Another way you may choose to celebrate Valentine's Day in a meaningful way is by expressing to those you care about how much they mean to you. A lot of times, it is easy to assume that the people in our lives know how we feel about them even without us saying so. However, at the same time, actually verbally expressing our feelings can make a huge impact on another person's life. You never know what may be going on in another individual's personal life. Just knowing that they are loved and cared for can make all the difference.
Take the time to consider those in your life who might not have anyone to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year. This could be a recently widowed neighbor, an elderly family member in a nursing home, or even a loved one that you've not connected with in a while. Make the time to reach out to them. It doesn't have to be a physical visit if this is not possible. A card, quick note, or even a phone call can be enough to help ensure they feel appreciated.
Maybe there is someone that you're missing this Valentine's Day that has passed away. Consider taking the opportunity to honor them on this day. Maybe you can visit their resting place or celebrate their life by doing an activity that they loved. This can be a great way to truly make this holiday meaningful and special.
Consider Giving to Others This Valentine's Day
Maybe you're not expecting anyone to be gifting you conversation hearts, chocolates, or flowers this Valentine's Day. This doesn't mean that you can't still get these things for yourself and enjoy them all the same. Or, maybe you can enjoy the gift of giving by presenting them to someone else in your life, like a parent, sibling, neighbor, or friend.
You don't have to stick with the stereotypical gifts associated with Valentine's Day if you don't want to. Consider what gift would mean the most to someone you care about. Maybe the gift is as simple as sharing a homecooked meal with a loved one who is too busy to cook for themselves. Or, perhaps there is an elderly family member you have who needs help around the house. Doing a favor for them this Valentine's Day can not only help them but really have a positive impact on your own mental health.
Treat Yourself This Valentine's Day
No matter how you are celebrating Valentine's Day this year, or who you're celebrating with, don't forget to do something special for yourself. This is the perfect day to treat yourself. Consider what would make you happy this holiday. Start by envisioning your perfect day ahead of time. This is totally personal preference and can be different for everyone.
Maybe your perfect day involves waking up before sunrise and getting a quick workout in. Perhaps this is followed by a healthy breakfast and a productive workday. But it doesn't have to be; this day is about doing what you want. If it involves sleeping in, binge-watching your favorite television show, staying in bed until noon, and even eating snacks, then that is perfectly alright. All that matters is that you're doing something this Valentine's Day that is going to bring you joy and relaxation.
So many people choose to hate Valentine's Day if they are not currently in a romantic relationship, but this holiday truly means more than mere romance. It is an opportunity to not only love yourself but celebrate the love you share with those around you, including with your friends, family members, and neighbors. Consider celebrating this holiday by telling those you love how much they mean to you or even doing a simple act of service to help them out. You may also want to consider treating yourself this Valentine's Day by doing whatever makes you happy. If you're struggling with substance misuse, call The Ho Tai Way at (714) 581-3974 today to get the help you need.