Flowers, candy, cards, romance. All of those conjure up love and Valentine’s Day. If you are going through a divorce, Valentine’s Day is one of the harder days to “get through.” But does it have to be?
For some, Valentine’s Day is just a commercial holiday jacked up by Hallmark and florists everywhere. But for you at this time in your life, make it a day to celebrate love and to celebrate those around you that you care about and are special in your life. Divorcing during this time can certainly bring up feelings, thoughts and memories of Valentine’s past, but let’s focus on what you can do to celebrate, even while grieving the end of a marriage.
Celebrate Self Love
What can you do to honor and love yourself on Valentine’s Day? What is something that perhaps you enjoy but didn’t spend time on or in while you were married? Grant yourself permission to splurge on yourself. Enjoy a massage and afterwards treat yourself to a pedicure – be indulgent. Get together with girlfriends and have a potluck – who better than to forget with friends that are supportive.
Was doing the hula in Hawaii on your bucket list but not on your spouses? Did dining on top of the Eiffel Tower rank as one your top romantic dates but for your ex – not so much? Why wait? Treat yourself to a destination vacation- somewhere you’ve always wanted to go and better yet – fly first class! Buy yourself a Valentine’s Gift!
Honor Those in Your Circle You Love
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love. It’s also about who and what we love. (Notice – they have other type of Valentine’s Cards not just spouse cards!) Celebrate your family and show them how much you love them. Chances are, your family is your greatest support system during this time. Celebrate them and let them know you appreciate the support and love they are giving you. Send them flowers, cook your parents a great dinner, drop treats off for nieces and nephews. Better yet – take your nieces and nephews out and give their parents a date night! That’s a win for everyone!
Valentine’s Day can be a great day to start a new exercise program. Move your body! Join an exercise class you’ve been wanting to try. Treat yourself to a bike and ride around some great neighborhoods in your area. Take a jog by a river path that’s new to you. Join a gym! It’s a great time to join a gym since by now, all the “Resolution” people have probably dropped off! The point is to take your mind off the romantic notion of Valentine’s Day and engage in more self love.
Celebrate Your Children
For children of divorcing parents Valentine’s Day can be a confusing day for them, especially if you and your ex always celebrated as a couple. They don’t know what to expect or how each of you will react to this day. They may not want to “bring it up” so as not to remind you of what you are going through. Instead, make the day about family love. Cook a special dinner together. Make reservations for a special family event. Go bowling or do something the kids would like to do. Celebrate the love you have for them!
Make it “Business as Usual”
Finally, treat the day as another day. Ignore it! Who says you have to buy into the commercial idea of love? Sometimes just not thinking about it is self care enough!
First holidays – any holidays – whether separating or already divorced – can be a time of introspection and just downright depressing. But don’t let it! Make this your goal this year to not let the holidays be another reason to lament your spouse but to celebrate you and those in your circle. Starting new traditions that can be carried forward can be a blessing in disguise! Doing the hula every Valentine’s Day is one great way to celebrate!