Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day

Yup, another holiday to deal with. I don't know how you are, but I found the scheduled holidays to be easier to deal with. I knew they were coming. It was the unexpected stuff that got to me. Jeff and I weren't big Valentine's Day people. Yeah, he'd buy me chocolate or flowers or something, and I definitely got a card, but we didn't go out and spend tons of money on a meal. Jeff was very lovey-dovey and really showed me his love all year round.

This year, my kids and I might hit a movie or do something as a family. I'm on a major deadline so it's not going to be anything big. I laughed because my 11 year old daughter was asked to write about Valentine's Day for school and she said, "we don't really care about it." I laughed and told her I care about it, just don't make that big a deal out of it. What about people who don't have someone to love them. I'm lucky. I have three faces that will give me hugs on Saturday and a mom who does so much for me. I'm blessed. I also know that Jeff loved me so much I can feel it on those days. Nope, I'm not dating anyone special right now and that's okay. If you're in the same boat, make Saturday about someone else -- you, your children, parents, a good friend who might also be alone because they are divorced or elderly or just lonely.

I asked Loren Gelberg-Goff, LCSW, who's been in private practice for the past 20+ years in River Edge, New Jersey to offer some advice. She does individual and marriage counseling, hypnotherapy and neurofeedback, as well as workshops and seminars on relationships, communication, anger and stress management, etc. She also has audio CD’s available to enhance self-esteem, promote inner healing, and to aid in stress management and relaxation.

A great deal of her work over the years has centered on working with terminally ill individuals and their families. This is a subject that is near and dear to her heart. Here is what she suggests:

Three suggestions that I offer for coping with loss at Valentine's Day are:
1. Acknowledge your loss, and do something that honors what your relationship was. This can be writing a letter, calling a friend to talk about your relationship, lighting a candle, filling a memory box. Set aside a specific amount of time to remember and honor what was, and then go to steps #2 &/or 3.
2. Make plans with friends. Share an upbeat comedy movie night at home or out. Sharing a good time with friends reminds you that life is about our connections, both platonic and intimate, and Valentine's Day can be about friendship and connectedness on other levels than just the ones 'advertised'.
3. Do something that is loving for YOU! You might go for a massage, a manicure, a workout at the gym, or your favorite meal. Make the day about loving who you are, and honoring your being as a whole person, not just the part of you that is missing someone or something.

I do hope that these are helpful. Valentine's Day is such a hard day for anyone not in a relationship, and it causes more stress, anxiety and depression than almost any other 'holiday'.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

Its really good to see such a wonderful bond in families like yours. Your post is beautiful. God bless u all! There was a lot of trouble in my family few months back...and then I really missed this bond. But now thanks to family and marriage counseling I can feel that bond once again. We all are going to rock this valentines. My kids are too excited about it and so are we! Happy Valentines day! :)