Valentine’s Day isn’t always filled with hearts and flowers. It’s a time when many people feel sad, lonely, and unfulfilled. February 14th, when the holiday is celebrated, falls right in the middle of winter—when the dark, cold weather already causes people to seek depression treatment for seasonal affective disorder.
And a holiday that emphasizes romantic relationships can lead to unpleasant emotions. If you’re single, you may feel left out of the celebrations. If you’ve recently ended a relationship, you could still be grieving. If you’re partnered, you may be unhappy or frustrated that your expectations aren’t met.
Either way, you might feel lonely, but you’re not alone. Valentine’s Day depression is common. If you’ve been dreading the holiday, try these techniques to improve your mood.
Lotus Recovery Centers offers highly effective treatment for depression and substance use disorders in West Virginia. Learn more about our treatment options by contacting us at 833.922.1615 today.
To Overcome Valentine’s Day Depression, Reframe Your Thoughts in Positive Ways
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of therapy often used in depression treatment programs, can help you change your perspective by learning to separate thoughts and feelings.
Someone who’s single on Valentine’s Day might feel angry, sad, and lonely. These feelings could lead to thoughts like “I’ll be alone forever” or “I’m not worthy of love.”
Once you recognize how your feelings are influencing your thoughts, you’re more easily able to control and change your thinking. Thoughts like “I don’t deserve love” may be motivated by feelings of inadequacy, but that doesn’t mean the thought is accurate or true.
Try replacing negative thoughts with more encouraging ones, like:
- I’m not in a relationship right now, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be single for the rest of my life.
- I have a lot of great qualities to offer, even though I don’t feel confident.
- While I wish I had a romantic partner, I have friends and family members who care about me.
Reminding yourself that your emotions don’t represent reality is an important step towards overcoming Valentine’s Day depression. Thought reframing may not make difficult emotions go away immediately. But the longer you practice this technique, the easier it becomes.
Reach Out to Other People
Think of Valentine’s Day as a time to celebrate any relationships you value, whether they’re romantic or not. There are many ways to connect with important people in your life. Here are just a few suggestions:
Call, text, or write to a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
- Let a family member know how much you care about them.
- Ask a friend to take a walk, get coffee, or catch up through online chat.
- Offer to do a favor for someone you know who’s going through a rough time.
- Even a brief conversation or check-in can remind you that you have the support of people who care about you.
Volunteering and giving back to others are reliable mood-boosters for overcoming Valentine’s Day depression. Get involved with a cause you support or help an acquaintance who could use a hand.
Partnered people experiencing Valentine’s Day depression can also reach out by having honest conversations with their partner. Talk about what your hopes are for the holiday, and find out how they’d like to celebrate.
Maybe it’s important to you to exchange gifts or do something special together, or maybe you’d rather skip the celebration completely. Whatever the case, communicating your desires will help you feel heard and understood.
Avoid Substance Use and Limit Social Media
For many people who struggle with Valentine’s Day depression, it’s tempting to turn to drugs and alcohol for temporary relief.
Substance use will make depression worse in the long run, however. Alcohol and drugs numb emotions, preventing you from finding more constructive and permanent ways to deal with overwhelming feelings.
Social media platforms can have a negative effect as well. You may see friends and acquaintances sharing happy Valentine’s Day experiences and feel the urge to compare your life to theirs.
If you know looking at other people’s posts will upset you, it’s smart to limit your social media use around Valentine’s Day. Remember people often share the most positive aspects of their lives on social media platforms, and these posts don’t necessarily reflect reality. They may be feeling just as distressed and lonely as you are.
Signs You May Need a Depression Treatment Program
Feeling sad or confused after a major transition in life, such as a breakup, is completely normal. When the sadness interferes with your life significantly, however, you may be experiencing depression that goes beyond the Valentine’s Day blues.
Consider a depression treatment program in West Virginia if you’re having these symptoms for more than two weeks:
- Feelings of hopelessness or guilt
- Loss of energy
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Inability to work or fulfill other responsibilities
- Difficulty concentrating on anything
- Thoughts of harming yourself
- Overcoming Valentine’s Day depression may mean seeking professional help, like medication and therapy.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment in West Virginia at Lotus Recovery Centers
At our dual diagnosis treatment center in West Virginia, depression treatment programs are an important part of client care. People who are fighting both depression and substance abuse will find compassionate medical care tailored to their needs.
We offer depression treatment on both a residential and outpatient basis. Individual and group therapy helps clients deal with distressing emotions and reshape destructive thought patterns. Medication to address depression symptoms may also be part of your treatment plan.
Contact us at 833.922.1615 to discuss whether a dual diagnosis treatment center is the right choice for you or someone you love.