The holiday season has only just ended, and before we know it, February is here bringing more reminders of the special person you miss. Even if you feel you’re in a healthy place with your grief, the arrival of Valentine’s Day, with its romantic overtures and heart-shaped candies, may push you off balance. It’s common to feel this way, especially if you’re missing someone you loved.
Here are 5 tips for coping with grief around Valentine’s Day:
Spend time with family and friends.
Being alone on Valentine’s Day when you’re grieving a loss can make you feel even more lonely. Try to make plans for the holiday with family or friends, even if you think they’re too busy or caught up in their own holiday plans. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. Maybe you host a Valentine’s Day-themed dinner or a get-together to watch a feel-good movie. Sometimes focusing on practical tasks like cooking and baking can help redirect your energy away from your grief.
Write your loved one a letter.
Putting words to your grief may help you feel better and release deeply held emotions. It doesn’t have to be a long letter or an especially well-written one. Just be sure you’re putting your honest thoughts and feelings down on paper. Once you finish writing, attach the letter to a balloon and release it into the air. You can also burn the note and scatter the ashes in a meaningful place or leave it at your loved one’s grave or memorial spot.
Be your own valentine.
Valentine’s Day is a great time to show love to others. Why not use this day to show love to yourself? Take the time to do something special alone that you enjoy. Be sure it makes you feel nourished and taken care of. Perhaps it’s a day at the spa or a trip to your favorite local café.
Donate your time to a worthy cause.
Putting your attention on other people can help take the focus off of your grief. Consider ways you can serve others or volunteer your time. Whether it’s a neighborhood food bank or a local library, giving back to your community may boost your mood and improve your outlook on your personal situation and also the larger world.
When you need help, reach out to loved ones or join a bereavement support group. It may ease your grief to spend time around people who knew your loved one or who understand more of what you’re feeling.