If you are going through a divorce or a judge just finalized yours, Valentine’s Day might be the last holiday you feel like celebrating – especially if prior years were overstuffed with cards, chocolates, and amore. However, your first Valentine’s Day after your divorce need not necessarily be the Worst Day Ever, as there are plenty of ways to dispel those nagging rumors that this day is only for lovers.
Note: Remember that the only person who knows if you are ready to get back out there is you; if you feel ready to date, go for it. Just make sure that you consider the impact of dating on you and your children. If you feel that you are not ready, do not feel pressured to participate in the holiday.
Instead, consider doing any of the following to take your mind off the holiday and to focus on you.
Ideas for the newly single
Volunteer – Studies have shown that engaging in charitable pursuits is one of the best ways to boost endorphins and relieve stress. If the holiday has you down, consider spending an hour or two at a local nursing home visiting with residents, or at a shelter assisting those in need of love and companionship.
Spend the day with family and friends – Reaching out for support from loved ones can be an excellent way to get through the V-day blues. If you have young children, focus on making Valentines for their classmates or baking heart-shaped cookies to hand out to the neighbors. If you are an empty nester or live far from family, give them a call to catch up – chances are, they are yearning to hear how you are doing.
Maybe call up some single friends and have yourselves a little Valentine’s Day – or as Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation would call it, “Galentine’s Day” – brunch.
Laugh! – After all, it is the best medicine. As you endure the first Valentine’s Day after your divorce, do not forget to smile and laugh your way through the transition – it will likely help ease any newfound feelings of loneliness or solitude. If you enjoy movies, consider a favorite comedy (and avoid the sappy rom-com, if you can).
Start a new tradition – There is no time like the present to bring about new traditions and make new memories. If you are dreading Cupid’s yearly visit, consider booking a short vacation by yourself to rest and rejuvenate. If travel is difficult or out of reach this year, try a new recipe or learn a new hobby this Valentine’s Day – you never know, it might stick with you all year!