Love Hurts, Divorce Survival Tips on Handling Valentine's Day
by Stephanie Robins, LCSW and Tracy Ann Moore-Grant, attorney/mediator
It is February, and love is in the air as this is the month known for Valentine's Day. It is a holiday that many cherish and look forward to celebrating. However, if you are divorced or going through the divorce process, this holiday is one that can be very difficult.
Here Are Some Survival Tips to Help You Get Through the Day:
1). Having Perspective: It is tough to ignore Valentine's Day as it is advertised everywhere you turn. Remember, it is only one day. You can handle one day.
2). Focus on Yourself: Going through a Divorce is one of the most stressful things one can go through. You may have lost focus on yourself in the process. Make a new tradition to celebrate the holiday. You could treat yourself to a massage, go for a Mani/Pedi, get a haircut, or buy yourself your favorite kind of fresh flowers. Other ideas are taking yourself to the movies, ordering takeout, or binge-watching a Netflix series that you had wanted to see.
3). Focus on Others: If you have minor children, use the day as an opportunity to express the love you have for them. For breakfast, you can make heart-shaped pancakes. You can help your kids design homemade Valentine cards to pass out to their friends. Plus, decorating a cake or cookies always brings smiles. Valentine’s Day is also a great day to volunteer. Remember that everyone is facing some kind of challenge in life. Use your energies to volunteer with your favorite organization.
4). Be Proactive About your Legal Process: If you think this will be a very difficult day or week for you, reach out to your attorney and make sure you do not have any legal deadlines, court dates or mediation scheduled during this time that may add extra pressure.
5). Be Active: Focusing on your health is a positive way to handle your stress. The gym will be less busy, and you will not have to wait to use your favorite equipment. Strength training is excellent in making you stronger physically and mentally. If the gym isn’t your thing, take the day to hike and enjoy the outdoors or perhaps try a new yoga class. When you feel healthy, you will be able to take on the world.
6). Write In A Gratitude Journal or Send Personal Notes: Focusing on the things that you are thankful for can lift your spirits. There has been tons of research showing having gratitude can change negative emotions into positive ones. Maybe take a moment to focus on your friends and family and send them a personal note to show how you feel.
7). Go To Bed Early: Sleep is so important, and you may have had many sleepless nights stressing about your divorce or other stressors related to it. Sleep is healing, and when you wake up the next day, you will feel refreshed to take on a new day.
8). Get Organized: Decluttering and organizing your home will help you feel a sense of accomplishment. Tackle your to do list. What better time to seize the moment? Put on some upbeat music and finally get things done you have been putting off.
9). Snuggle With A Fur Baby: Pets need love too. Nothing feels better than cozying up to your dog or cat. They can sense your feelings and know just how to lift your spirits. If you do not have a pet, think about volunteering at an animal shelter or consider fostering an animal in need.
Do not let thoughts of past Valentine's Days haunt you. Try not to let your mind drift to anger, regrets, or revenge. You can handle this day. Maybe one day, look at Valentine's Day as a day to cherish yourself and to be grateful for how far you have come.
Stephanie Robins, LCSW has over 20 years of experience in working with individuals, couples, and families. She has a thriving therapy private practice in Alpharetta, GA. Additionally, she is a Parenting Educator, Speaker, Trainer, Parenting Coordinator, and Mediator. For more information about Stephanie's Specialities, please visit her website: www.alpharettafamilytherapy.com