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Self-love on Valentine's Day

An Image of hands forming a heart on a sunrise with a quote on the top that says If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.
Self Love and Mental Health on Valentine's Day

What does mental health have to do with Valentine's Day? You might ask...

February 14th can come with outsized expectations stress, anxiety, and the 'not enough' shenanigans. You might feel isolated, shunned, neglected, invisible, or unworthy especially if you are single. It can be quite triggering. I will talk about these triggers in the end. But first, let me reiterate::

Love is more than an annual exchange of chocolates roses, and paper hearts.

It's time we challenge our narrow definitions of love to be more expansive, inclusive, compassionate, and community-oriented. The same goes for mental health. Challenging our conventional. often stigmatizing narratives about mental health and psychological safety takes love. LOTS OF LOVE.

Ok, now let us talk about the triggers. For many people, Valentine's Day can have a

negative impact on mental health. For example-

* It can be triggering for people who have trauma related to dating/relationships.

* For people who are not in a relationship, the blizzard of ads/posts/V-Day stuff in stores can make them feel lonely, depressed, ashamed, or inadequate.

* For people in relationships but who are experiencing issues within the relationship, they can also feel lonely, depressed, ashamed, or inadequate.

* Research shows a strong prevalence of Valentine's Day anxiety in men. Valentine's Day ads tend to encourage the notion that men's worth is often determined by the price tags attached to the expensive gifts to their significant others.

* For members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Valentine's Day marketing often holds up exclusively heterosexual values, which can make them feel invisible or not valued.

So what's the best strategy to protect your mental health on Valentine's Day?

The best strategy is definitely avoiding comparisons, engaging in self-love (most important), ignoring societal pressures, and seeking support if necessary.

Today isn't just about romantic love; it's a celebration of all forms of love, including the most important one :: self-love.

I believe that true happiness and fulfillment start from within, and this Valentine's Day, so I invite you to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth with me here on Good Gracious Grief!

Celebrate your smallest of achievements. Nurture the relationship with yourself and yes, Prioritize your mental health. l'm sending a thank you to all who have joined this community, who have continuously showed up, and who are committed to taking care of

their health and happiness. I encourage you to use today as an opportunity to express gratitude towards yourself, towards those you love, and to the beauty of building new connections in life.

--- Amit Anand


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