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How to Survive Valentine’s Day After Divorce

by Debra Schoenberg

For many, Valentine’s Day is a day full of love, but for others, like people who have gone through a divorce, it’s a day they might want to ignore. Reminders of love and relationships such as heart-shaped chocolates and flowers are everywhere, from the grocery stores to social media. If you’re divorced, it can be a hard day to celebrate if you find yourself alone. Whether you’re going through a divorce,  recently divorced or you’ve been divorced for a while, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all bad. By surrounding yourself with positive support from friends and family, the day of love can be confronted with optimism.

There’s nothing wrong with choosing to spend the day alone, but according to Psychology Today, it can also be easier to sink into negative emotions. Take some time on Valentine’s Day to spend time with the people you care about the most, for example, friends and family. Plan a day with friends for dinner and drinks, or spend some time with family members who you know will be alone on that day. Consider asking your co-workers for a fun night out, or plan for an indoor date. Valentine’s Day doesn’t just celebrate the love between romantic partners, it celebrates all types of love. Finding people who are willing to spend the day with you might help you overcome the pressure of feeling alone.

If there are kids involved, it’s a perfect opportunity to spend the day with them and turn it into a family day. Whether it’s working on arts and crafts, decorating the house in red and pink or baking heart-shaped cookies, spending time with your children can help distract them and keep your mind busy. According to the HuffPost, celebrating Valentine’s Day with your children shows them that, although the romantic love between you and your former spouse may be gone, the love you feel for them as a parent remains just as strong.

Who better to treat you with roses and chocolates than…you! Take this day to splurge on yourself, be it with a “daycation”, some flowers and chocolates or anything else that treats you. Self-care is important in any situation, but on Valentine’s Day, it can be your opportunity to treat yourself to a spa day or a nice dinner. Another form of self-care would be to stay off social media that day. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will be completely overwhelmed with pictures and videos of people celebrating. For a lot of recent divorcees, it can be a heartbreaking thing to look at, and if that’s something that you are not prepared to handle yet, it’s best to stay off social media for some time after the holiday.

Divorce may have you feeling a mix of emotions, especially on a day that celebrates love. While it may seem like a dark time, surrounding yourself with positive people will help you cope with the pressure. Make this Valentine’s Day an occasion to treat yourself and reflect on your own happiness, but most importantly, know that with time, it will get better.