Valentine's Day, it seems, was created for us to take at least one day out of the year to profess how much we love our family, friends or partners.... especially, partners. You would think this day would be a glorious one--like Halloween, for instance, where children are anticipating how they will appear in their costumes, who will answer the door they knock on, what the reaction to their costume may be and of course, what sort of treats will delight them in their trick-or-treat bag.
But this doesn't seem to be the case with Valentine's Day. The people coming through my office are not too delighted about the day. Single or in relationships, I am finding many feel instead pressured, more lonely, and like failures. Do you feel this way too?
Why is it that a holiday where you are meant to appreciate the love in your life, you find yourself why you don't have love in your life or that the love you do give or have is not good enough?
If you are in a relationship, why is it so important for you to celebrate it now? With the overpriced roses or dinners? Why not celebrate your love for one-another every day? How many times have you found yourself disappointed that you didn't get what you wanted or you set your expectations so high, you were bound to be let down?
If you are single...well, Valentine's Day just sucks for most of you. Once again, you are reminded that you have failed at something, you aren't good enough, and you are excluded.... You can fill in the blanks for yourself in how the day makes you feel.
The truth is, the Valentine's Day is just that, a day. Perhaps it was created because we spend so much time throughout our life dealing with our problems and every day routine that we take the people in our lives for granted and forget to appreciate them and the love we do have. So perhaps, this day is a 'breather' day--a day to stop, take a puff of appreciation, loving the ones we are with.
If this is the case, than you can actively appreciate the love you have in your life every day. In fact, if you did, you would likely be a healthier and happier person, as supported by research. Rather than waiting for one day to determine whether or not, or how much love you have to appreciate, appreciate every day. Appreciate the love you have with your friends, pets, family, co-workers, post office worker, etc. Carve a few moments in every day to look someone in the eye, connect and appreciate.
One of my favorite things to do is to stare at someone I adore while squinting my eyes and I appreciate them through the slits. Then, I open my eyes wide and appreciate that much more. It feels great. This is a great exercise to do in front of the mirror, adoring your Self.
Love, laugh and appreciate every day, especially your Self. This way, every day is Valentine's Day.
Follow Eva M. Selhub, M.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrEvaSelhub