I have been dealing with anxiety for over four years now – and although I’m doing pretty well, some days are just harder than others. I have got it all under control, but when it comes to occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or Valentine’s Day, then my anxiety often seems to rise up. Thankfully, I have mastered the art of dealing with it and learning how to spend Valentine’s Day without undergoing any problem.
If you are also in a relationship and suffer from anxiety at the same time, then Valentine’s Day can come up with some unwanted pressure. You want to make sure that the day would go perfectly, but your anxiety often takes control of your mind. Well, it is time you put your anxiety in the back seat and make the best of this day with your partner. Here are some personal suggestions that have helped me control my anxiety. Consider following them so that you can spend this memorable day with your partner in the best way.
- Set realistic expectations
This is one of the first things that you should keep in mind for Valentine’s Day. Too often, we expect a lot from our partner or even from ourselves. Sadly, when the reality doesn’t meet our expectations, it results in disappointment. We question ourselves and even the intentions of our partner. This can spike your anxiety and make things worse.
To avoid this, make sure that you have a realistic plan for the day that you can easily fulfill. You are not supposed to always go for a larger than life gesture. Sometimes, it is all about the details. You can have a memorable V-Day with your partner while having a simple yet thoughtful evening as well.
- Talk to your partner
You might already know how important it is to communicate with your partner regarding your anxiety. If the two of you have been together for a while, then you should inform your partner about it. For instance, if you are not comfortable celebrating the day a certain way, then let your partner know about it in advance. This will let the two of you come up with a feasible yet romantic plan.
A lot of people find it hard to open up to their partner about their anxiety. I want you to remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with having anxiety issues. You can be vulnerable to your partner and let them in. Being vulnerable is probably the strongest thing to do and your partner will certainly appreciate it as well.
- Avoid lingering in the past
This is something I can say from a personal experience. I have spent a lot of Valentine’s Day in the past alone or with my friends. Some of those memories weren’t really the greatest. There can be Valentine’s Days that were spent with an ex, who is no longer a part of your life. Trust me – it is quite common to think of those memories on days like this.
While there is nothing wrong with thinking of the past, you should not let it control your present. Don’t compare your past relationship with your present one. Just because you had a bad experience on a Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean that the history is going to repeat itself.
- Are you getting the first date stress?
If you are seeing someone recently and are heading for the first big date on Valentine’s Day, then the pressure can build up. After all, there are so many things we need to think of before a first date. What should we talk about? Will it be okay to hold hands? Where should we go? There are so many questions that we have in mind before a first date.
I want you to take a step back and go with minimum expectations. Avoid having unrealistic exceptions just because it is Valentine’s Day. Remember, it is your first date and it is supposed to be a bit casual. Don’t do anything that you are uncomfortable with and just be yourself – you have got this.
- Be present!
If you are dealing with severe anxiety, then it might be hard for you to make the most of the present moment. We often think about our future plans or the things from the past. This tampers with the infinite beauty of the present. Remember, the present moment is not going to come back. Take it all in and don’t let your stress or anxiety lessen the beauty of this romantic occasion.
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- Get enough rest before the day
This is one of the best ways to handle anxiety on any big occasion. Make sure that you get enough rest before the big day. Try to go to bed early the night before and wake up naturally. Besides that, you should consider avoiding any tedious physical activity that can further make you stressed.
Keep your body hydrated and don’t skip meals in between. Though, at the same time, don’t be too sedentary as well. Go for a morning walk and inhale some fresh oxygen. Give a positive start to the day and make sure you stay stress-free.
- Don’t avoid your work altogether
While some people consider taking an off on Valentine’s Day, chances are that you might end up working. Since Valentine’s Day is not a designated holiday, you would need to juggle your personal and professional life. While making any plans with your partner, make sure that your work is sorted.
I would recommend taking care of your work beforehand. If you have any strict deadline, then consider working on it a day or two before the 14th of February. Even if you can’t avoid your work altogether, you can make some effort to minimize it. In this way, you won’t have any work pressure that can trigger your anxiety.
- Practice deep breathing
If you have been dealing with anxiety for a while, then you must be familiar with this effective practice. Whenever you feel anxious, try to calm your senses by breathing deeply. Simply close your eyes and inhale deeply. Hold your breath for a few seconds and gradually let it go. Practice it a few times to calm your mind.
You can do it, even if you are not feeling anxious. I would consider taking 10 minutes in the morning and practicing it. You can also inhale from one nostril, hold your breath, and exhale from the second nostril. Do it 5-6 times and let go of your stress and anxiety – by taking one breath at a time.
- Do something selfless
Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love and compassion. While it is important to take care of your health, you should not overlook your mental well-being as well. When we ask people what makes them happy, most of them say it is a selfless act of helping others. If you want to learn how to spend Valentine’s Day in the best way, then practice a selfless act.
There are so many people around us who can use some help. You can always volunteer, buy someone dinner, or simply spend some time with your parents. Buy gifts for the people you love and just let them know how special they make you feel. It will heal your heart and will certainly put a smile on someone else’s face as well.
- Talk to someone you trust
Whenever you get anxious the next time, simply talk to someone you can trust. It can be your friends, a family member, or even a trained professional. One of my best friends also suffers from anxiety and whenever we get anxious, we simply give each other a call. Sometimes, all it takes is a good conversation to make us feel better.
If you want, you can also talk to your parents, siblings, or even your partner as well. Apart from letting them know about your issues, also listen to them. As they would share their story and insecurities, it might make you realize how alike you two are. If you think your anxiety is getting serious, then there is no harm in visiting a trained psychologist or therapist as well.
- Love yourself
Last, but most importantly, don’t forget to love yourself. After all, Valentine’s Day is the day of love. Apart from loving your partner, friends, and family, you should appreciate yourself as well. Congratulate yourself for making it through and buy a gift for yourself. Treat yourself to a spa date or do something that makes you happy.
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I’m sure that these suggestions will help you celebrate Valentine’s Day in the best possible way. If you really want to learn how to spend Valentine’s Day as someone with anxiety, then listen to yourself. Remember, it is not a competition. Avoid comparing your relationship with others or validating it on social media. It is all about you, your partner, and the people you love. Talk to your significant other and set realistic expectations for the day. Meditate if you can and take enough rest in advance. Most importantly, be present in your relationship and take it all in. Have a warm and romantic V-Day!
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