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Surviving Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is upon us, and it can be a stressful time for not only singles, but couples who are struggling in their relationship. The day carries with it such huge expectations, ideals, and fantasies, that many of us feel the pressure to try and live up to. Whether it is a day that you look forward to, or if it makes you want to crawl back into bed, we can all make the choice to celebrate it the way we want to, or treat it as any regular day. Love and relationships are complex, and cannot be measured by the size of the candy box or amount spent on a piece of jewelry. Decide what matters to you most on that day, it may be that YOU matter most! Here are some ideas for both those who are single or in a relationship to treat Valentine's Day as a day that's more than just giving money to Hallmark.

For Singles:

1) Your friends are so important to you, remember them on this day. Go to dinner with just the girls, and appreciate one another! Friendships and the social support they provide us have been shown to have both mental health benefits and physical health benefits.

2) Treat yourself and pamper yourself. Use the day to get a massage, it can be a wonderful way to improve your mood and reduce stress and tension. Get a manicure or pedicure, or buy yourself a little gift. You deserve it! Many times investing in ourselves is something we forget to do, but it is so important so get to it!

3) Make that recipe you have been dying to try! Again, if this day is one you choose to spend alone then do what makes you happy! Curl up and read your favorite book, blast your favorite song and dance, celebrate you and the love you have for yourself.

4) If any of the above is too difficult whether it is because you are depressed, or experiencing other emotional stress that is very difficult, then choose to view the day as just a regular day. Do something simple like take a walk, call someone who is supportive and understanding, and if you can't fight the urge to crawl back into bed then know this: Valentine's Day is only one day, it will pass, and you will overcome this emotionally difficult time in your life.

For Couples:

1)

2) Make a creative gift for your partner: a homemade photo album, a memory box of little trinkets that remind you of special times together, a collage, a poem or song, or a homemade dessert or treat. Remember that the thought that goes into these gifts will likely express more of your genuine feelings, and be so much more appreciated!!

3) Play a game, something that gets the two of you talking and laughing (Charades, Twister). Or buy a sexy game, or make up your own with a deck of cards (Strip Poker comes to mind!) These are just some inexpensive ideas which can be great for any couple, and can be forgiving on the wallet!

4) For more sensual ideas, set up time to give each other a massage. Set the mood with scented oils, calming music, romantic lighting, etc.

5) Remember to flirt! Those couples who forgot how, talk sexy to one another, send flirty text messages, it can be fun and who knows what it will lead to!

6) For those who are struggling in their relationship, take a break from arguments on this day. If your relationship is so damaged that this day is one you'd like to skip, then choose to view it as any other day. However, ignoring the deep rooted problems in your relationship can be an unhealthy way of living. Seek counseling if need be.

I wish all of you a Happy Valentine's Day. Feel free to share your own ideas in the Comment section. Would love to hear them!!

Warmly,

Dr. Haluska

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