Around Valentine’s Day, we’re inundated with images of happy couples, roses and chocolates and all kinds of photos that spell l-o-v-e.
But how do you handle this lovey-dovey holiday when you’re experiencing the loss of a relationship, either through divorce, death or a breakup?
Virginia Miller Caballaro
, LPC, a therapist with Menninger’s Outpatient Services
location in Bellaire, Texas, offers these three tips:
- Take a mini-break from social media. Social media feeds can be filled with the kind of posts that can add to your misery. “It’s a good thing to get away from social media for a day or two, or even more if need be,” said Miller Caballaro. “Seeing pictures of friends and family in love and enjoying life with their partners doesn’t help during this time.”
- Focus on yourself. Do something you’ve never done before but always wanted to try, or something that your former partner didn’t want to do with you. New challenges will help distract you from the holiday and may even ignite a different kind of passion.
- Don’t stay home. Use this as a time to enjoy activities with family or friends. Such social support is important while your heart mends. Even if you’re tempted to stay in bed or on the sofa, get out and about instead. Social relationships help remind you that you’re not alone.
“It’s also important to keep perspective on this day,” said Miller Caballaro, noting that not everyone buys into this holiday. In addition, the images seen in advertising aren’t reality. Not every relationship is healthy or capable of making it for very long.
The end of a relationship is a loss, and it’s appropriate to grieve it. But if you find that your heartbreak has left you…
- Missing work,
- Crying nonstop,
- Isolating yourself from friends and family,
- Interrupting your sleep,
- Decreasing your appetite or
- Keeping you from getting pleasure out of the usual things…
Then seek help from a mental health professional today.
For an appointment with a Menninger outpatient clinician, call 713-275-5178. Appointments are usually available within two business days.