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Valentine's Day 2011: 6 Strategies to Make It Stress-Free

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Valentine's Day can be a day full of fun and romance, or a day full of fighting over why your dream date never came to fruition. This Valentine's Day, follow my six strategies for a stress-free Valentine's Day and enjoy your day no matter what you do or who you spend it with.

  1. Agree On How to Celebrate
  2. You should compromise with your partner about how to celebrate. The two of you might have very different ideas about what to do on Valentine's Day so why not talk about it ahead of time so you don't end up having a disagreement about it later. Find something you can both feel comfortable doing as a way to celebrate the day.

  3. Spend Within Your Means
  4. Don't spend beyond your means just because it's Valentine's Day. In this economy, everyone is scaling back and you should too. Gestures of love don't have a price tag. If anything, spending more than you are comfortable with will be stressful in the end and can create bad spending habits in your relationship.

  5. Change the Meaning of Valentine's Day
  6. If you are single, you can change the meaning of Valentine's Day from a day solely about romance to a day about love. Make it a day to celebrate the love you have for anyone special in your life. If you don't have a significant other, spend time with the other people you love. Everyone can actually enjoy the day, not just couples.

  7. Think in Terms of What You Can Give, Not Just What You Can Get
  8. Valentine's Day, like many special days, often becomes all about gifts and less about the purpose of the day, which in this case is to spread love. Don't become fixated on what you expect to receive but instead consider what you can give on this day. By give, I don't necessarily mean you have to buy gifts. You can share your love and attention just by being kind, affectionate and considerate to your loved ones. Why not share a valentine with your family and friends (we did it when we were kids, so why stop now?). Or do something loving for someone who may be having a hard time this Valentine's Day (maybe someone elderly and living alone or someone recently divorced or widowed). You could give them a call or a card as a much needed pick-me-up. When you're more focused on what you're giving than what you're getting, you can be pleasantly surprised by how your day turns out.

  9. Don't Let Valentine's Day Define Your Relationship
  10. No matter how you decide to spend your Valentine's Day, don't measure the success of your relationship by how romantic or expensive your day was. There are many ways to celebrate, ranging from sharing a handwritten card to taking a lavish vacation. It's only one day out of the year and although you want to have fun, it's what you do the other 364 days of the year that say much more about the strength of your relationship.

  11. Stay in the Moment

Sometimes people get so caught up in what they think they're supposed to be doing that they forget to enjoy what they're actually doing. Whatever you decide to do, have fun! Go with the flow and just enjoy yourself. Valentine's Day only comes once a year so don't waste the day distracted by trying to make it "perfect." It will be "perfect" as long as you can connect with someone you love.

To read more from Dr. Michelle, visit her website www.drmichelle.com, or visit her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

© 2011 Dr. Michelle Callahan