Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Overcoming Anxiety on Valentines Day

Published:Monday | February 11, 2019 | 12:00 AM


Roses are red… Valentine’s Day is coming: are you feeling the blues? It’s hard enough dealing with anxieties following a breakup, imagine being single or riding out a rough course in a relationship. Now, with the designated day of love peeking over the horizon, the trepidation might just climax. Jessica O’Reilly, PhD., international sexologist, relationship specialist and host of @SexWithDrJess Podcast wants to help you overcome for this V-Day.


Maybe you’re going through a separation. Chances are you’ll want to go to bed February 13 and wake up on the 15th. Whatever the reason for the disconnect, it’s likely to bring on painful emotions. Surely you’ll instantly want to conquer the depressing points in your life. But maybe you need to travel down that dark tunnel before you can see the light of happiness.


“Allow yourself to be sad for a period of time and sit with the feeling. You’re more likely to reach acceptance and overcome a feeling if you acknowledge and ignoring feelings will not eradicate them,” she explained.


According to the doc, the essence of it all is giving yourself time and permission to be sad. Repeatedly replaying the relationship breakdown and the actual split in your head is not the goal. “You’ll gain nothing from this,”O'Reilly emphasised.




“You aren’t going to heal years of hurt and resentment in one day, but you have to begin trodding on the road to recovery one day at a time,” the expert explains.


It’s normal for you to feel uneasy on the special day reserved for expressing love. No, the topsy turvy state of your relationship will by no chance vanish into thin air. However, you do not have to allow it to consume you. So, instead of spending time dwelling on painful memories, the specialist recommends that you pass the time focusing on the positives of the relationship and the qualities of your partner, which you appreciate the most.


“Then you can make a list of why you care about these things and what is going well at this time. You may also want to consider elements from the past that you can re-inject into the relationship. Gratitude too should be considered. It is associated with higher self-esteem, lower stress levels and more compassion. Couples who practice gratitude are happier in their relationships and feel closer to one another, so start today,” O’ Reilly urges.




So, you’re single and you’re probably saying you’re stressed free. But here are some activities you can consider if you start feeling the blues:


Visit or reach out to your first Valentine - your parent(s), or spend time with an elderly friend or neighbour.


Help someone- You can also volunteer your time. Volunteering is associated with higher levels of happiness, fulfilment, confidence and attractiveness.


Invite a couple out for dinner- Most couples are happy to break the monotony of date night. And if you make the plans, it can help to alleviate some of the pressure couples experience on Valentine’s Day; they can return the favour by paying the bill.