Written by Mariana Paz-Solden
Guys, I get it. Valentines Day can be tough.
I’m not here to rain down on anyone who loves the day (honestly, I think I do too) but often times, I think Valentines Day can be seen as a bit of an exclusionary holiday to some of us, especially those in university. A reminder that this day celebrates those who have a significant other, and to make it even more polarizing, many fall into the “I am so in love, I’m going to post one million Instagram stories of my person” camp or the “fuck valentines day, this day sucks” camp. Both are extremely valid ways to feel or act, but so are the feelings in between. I think that is where I currently am at.
So obviously, it isn’t Valentines Day anymore, but I wanted to talk about the day, because I think it needs to be reframed. As a person who got out of a relationship within the past year and who suffers from anxiety—this day seemed scary to me at first. In a lot of ways it served as a reminder of things or people that I have lost. However, as I got closer to the day, I was reminded of how many beautiful things I have to be thankful for. This wasn’t necessarily an easy thing to do—however, it made me feel so much better.
Valentine's Day at its core, is a day to celebrate love.
Sometimes things change in our lives, and sometimes people do. That doesn’t mean we are not worthy or deserving of love. Just because you don’t have romantic love does not mean you are not loveable. And just because you have a mental illness does not mean you cannot be loved or in a relationship. Everyone has their own sets of experiences and struggles attached to themselves—that doesn’t make them bad, it makes them more unique and in my mind, more authentically beautiful.
However, this is something that is easier said than believed. A lot of anxiety that I have experienced over the course of my life has to do with my perfectionism regarding the relationships that I have. I hate letting people down or not being what other people need me to be. In a lot of ways, my struggle to perfection and not recognizing my own mental health as a priority was what got in the way of my own journey to self-love. This is something that has always affected relationships of mine, but, my self-love is more important to me than anything else.
Basically what I am saying is that I want you to know that I get it if you are having a hard time after this (kind of ridiculous, semi-exclusionary) holiday. You are not alone. I want you to know that you deserve love—all kinds of love:
Self-love, friendship love, romantic love, family love, creative love, work love.
Your relationship status does not define the love that you feel. You do (but it’s okay if you are having a hard time with this—I do too sometimes)
Take some time to bounce back after this day—engage in self-care, engage in RADICAL SELF LOVE, make some goals or listen to some great music or watch a lovely movie (I recommend “About Time”—literal goals of a movie).
You deserve love, and please remember that you can reach out for support if you need it.
Here are some easy ways to self-care (after this day) <3
- Treat yo’ self (This can be food related, or retail related, WHATEVER makes you happy)
- Make a list of things you love and post it somewhere you can visually see everyday
- Book a friend-date with someone you haven’t seen in a while (Ice cream, movies, cook together?)
- Take a break and watch fun youtube videos (I recommend these Buzzfeed ‘Worth it’ videos, they make me SO happy)