Kolkata: A day of expressing love and commitment, Valentine’ Day begins and ends on a celebratory fervour for couples. But do we ever think of dejected lovers who feel a sense of isolation, more so in the age of the virtual display of affection. Dr, Sanjay Garg is here to assist you with some tips and tricks to preserve mental health when love in the air.
Valentine’s Day is intended to be a celebration of eternal love and a time to reaffirm the pledges of undying commitment. While common sense and optimism might lead one to think that there is nothing wrong in having a day set aside to celebrate love, there is growing evidence that there might just be more than one thing wrong with this.
Valentine’s Day is perhaps the most dreaded day for those who aren’t in a relationship. And this is indeed a grim issue which needs to be addressed.
However, ironically enough, while roses may be symbolic of this day, Valentine’s Day may not actually be a bed of roses even for those in a relationship. Increasing commercialisation of the occasion puts added pressure to make the day extra special, setting into motion a flurry of overspending in a bid to show affection. Displays of other people’s celebrations on social networking platforms may prompt unrealistically lofty expectations, which when unmet may trigger dejection and resentment.
So being in a stable relationship and knowing exactly what your partner is expecting on Valentine’s Day is perhaps the only formula for successfully surviving this day. How realistic is it that all these criteria can be met? Probably as realistic as flying pigs and pink unicorns.
On a more serious note, possibly the biggest downside of this day is the sense of isolation and agony that it brings out in individuals who are “single”. Admittedly people who feel lonely will feel so every other day of the year, but a day that highlights the bliss of togetherness is bound to be a stabbing reminder of the sense of aloneness within. When almost every store is overfilled with red things and almost every corner embellished with pink decorations, it is difficult not to feel blue about being “unloved”.
According to International Business Times, suicide hotlines receive the maximum number of phone calls on February 14. The link between loneliness and depression is now well established. Those battling with the breaking off of a relationship may also find themselves pushed into a downward spiral by harrowing reminders of the past.
Dr Sanjay Garg, Fortis Hospitals Anandapur, Kolkata gives certain tips to care for ourselves this Valentine’s Day so that we can be happy, mentally healthy and at the same time preserve the essence of what this day is ideally supposed to stand for.
- Remember is that it is just another day. Like any of the other 364 days, this too is a day where we need to eat, sleep, work, look after our families, and basically just live our lives. Putting the day in perspective and not attaching undue importance to it will go a long way in keeping negative feelings at bay.
- Keeping expectations in check is another very important thing. Valentine’s Day does not have to be the best day of our lives; the day we meet “the one”, or the day our partner sweeps us off our feet. While celebrating milestones is definitely important, keeping the celebrations simple will take a lot of the pressure off.
- Valentine’s Day is about love: not just romantic love Loving oneself is the first step to being happy. Valentine’s Day can be a perfect day to pamper yourself and do the things you love to do; things that you don’t take time out for, otherwise. Also, you may not have a partner, but there are definitely people who love you and who you love. Use this day to spend time with them, “far from the madding crowd” of mushy couples.
- Keep your humour alive Being single does not have to be all grim. Not having someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day with can be an opportunity to look at this day through your humour-tinted glasses. The following anonymous quote is a case in point. “Don’t be sad if you don’t have a valentine on Valentine’s Day. Most people are happy not to have AIDS on World AIDS day.”
- If none of these suggestions help, it may be time to seek professional help. There is nothing shameful about it. Needing and wanting love is what makes us good humans and there is nothing weak or embarrassing about that. Professionals are trained to help you cope with situations like this and to help you feel better.
A very Healthy and Happy Valentine’s Day to All!!!