Stressed Over Valentine’s Day? Here’s What You Can Do About It

4 minutes

Valentine’s Day is considered the holiday of love for people to celebrate their significant other. But, for some, it isn’t a rosy day.

Here is a little secret to make you feel better: According to data compiled by a social media platform – “We Heart it”, around 65% of people have said that they feel stressed about Valentine’s Day.

Factors for the rise in anxiety about Valentine’s Day:

Expectations: Valentine’s Day comes with an array of expectations including gifts, special dinners and romantic gestures. Setting such high expectations can lead to disappointment as well as trying to fulfil such expectations can lead to tension.

Research (McNulty, Karney BR. & McNulty, J.K. (2004)) supports that couples with high positive expectations are more likely to face disappointment, instability and dysfunction than couples with more realistic expectations.

Social Media & Comparisons: Many young teens seem to think that social media is essential to the Valentine’s Day experience.

Also, 65% said social media either made them feel jealous or stressed out (34% said they got jealous, 31% said they got stressed). 

Valentine’s Day plans like dinners, destination celebrations are usually more public and talked about in conversation and even shared on social media. Seeing & hearing about other’s perfect accounts of their celebrations makes it difficult to avoid comparing. These comparisons can lead to dissatisfaction and frustration about our own way of celebrations even though it could have been enjoyable.

Research Wheeler & Miyake (1992) & Pruic et al (2011) supports that social comparison negatively affects a person’s self-esteem and well-being.

Individual’s Pressure on not knowing how to deal with singlehood, loneliness, how to express love for their partner in the ‘right’ way, & heart ache for those who have recently broken up can add to the stress felt on Valentine’s Day.

So, how do you not stress on Valentine’s Day, but instead have a great time?

Ways to beat Valentine’s Day Stress:

  • Avoid ‘Valentine’s Day Performance Anxiety’ by reminding yourself that your relationship is not all about one day.

Remind yourself that attention and commitment to your partner are more important than the ‘perfect’ celebration on Valentine’s Day.

  • Talk in advance. Discuss with your partner how you want the day rather how it “should” be. 

Leave the stress behind by talking about the day in advance and how you want to spend it. This will clarify each partner’s wishes and help you let go of the huge expectations

  • Make time for relaxation. 

It is not compulsory to make grand gestures to express love. A long walk or a home cooked meal, or anything else that chills you both out can be great too.

  • Avoid comparisons. Understand that people show their love in different ways. 

Your best friend’s partner may shower her with flowers, while you had a simple day for Valentine’s. But before you come to the conclusion that your friend has the better deal, try to focus on your relationship and what the two of you did, not what someone else receives.

  • If you are single, think back and reflect!

If you are single, others might encourage you to do something about it, especially for Valentine’s day. But, you should not depend entirely on others’ advice. Rather, you should take these decisions based on your personality and circumstances.

For eg. You may realize that you need to work on your confidence first before approaching someone or you might decide that you want to be on your own and hence, need to learn to be comfortable being single. Talking to a Counsellor can be helpful in addressing these concerns.

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