Valentine’s Day, a Threat to Mental Health?

As we approach February 14th, which is the day observed, as Valentine’s Day, if you are not careful, it can make you feel like an outcast. This time of the year can be stressful for many people. Although it is not a public holiday, it is celebrated by many countries around the world. It is a time when people should be giving gifts as a token of their love for each other. However, what if you do not have any gifts to give? I often wondered, am I going to receive anything? “I was never sure, either”.

My five-year-old’s birthday is in the same week, as well as my spouse’s. My five year old gave me a long list, and that includes an iPod. Should I give four gifts, two, or one? My mind is constantly being bombarded with thoughts of what to do, to appease my love ones.

Valentine’s Day is similar to Christmas- it is commercialized. If you go to the mall and watch television, everything out there is saying, will you be my Valentine?, trying to persuade you to purchase something. During Valentine’s Day, you might find people who are single and want to mingle, and people making up and breaking up. But on a serious note, this can have adverse effects on someone’s mental health.

A lot of persons during this period tend to get stressed and depressed, just by feeling the pressure from various media outlets to spend extravagantly, on their significant other or to find someone, anyone. Well, guess what, I have been enlightened. There are many persons out there that are not celebrating Valentine’s Day for various reasons such as: the loss of loved one, religious beliefs, being single, living alone, etc. This day, probably gives them more grief than any other day.

I have also realized that Valentine’s Day can be celebrated without giving a person a gift or having any romantic connotations. It is a time, when anyone who wishes, can seize the moment and say to someone, “I love and appreciate you”. You can say it to your friends, mother, child, father, sister, brother, grandmother, or pastor, priest, etc. Regardless of your circumstances, there is absolutely nothing narcissistic about telling yourself this, “I love myself and appreciate who I am, and the gift of life.”

Volunteering and contributing to society in a positive way can make a difference, in how you feel also. During this season, you can only do your best. For me personally, I often tell myself this: if it is not Valentine’s Day, it’s something else, so never mind, it’s only for one day, and it will soon pass away.

I am grateful and blessed that I have a family who just appreciates me for who I am, instead of how much I shower them with gifts. What the community can do is to maybe de-commercialize the essence of Valentine’s Day, to better interpersonal and communal relationships for people in society. What do you think?

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Happy Valentine’s Day, and Lots of Love, Sending Your Way!

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