Just when we made it through the holiday season, we now face Valentine’s Day and if you have lost a loved one, this holiday can be a difficult day to get through. It is hard to face all the reminders about Valentine’s Day, I mean we see it on commercials, in the stores all endless reminders of a love lost that can bring up strong emotions.

You will make it through, thought it may not be difficult that is okay. Grief doesn’t have certain look and is unique to each person who is suffering. It can trigger at anytime and even if your loss is recent or long ago, grief is messy, so allow yourself grace to manage through the storms grief takes you through.  Let yourself feel whatever you are feeling, it is natural to miss your loved one.

It can be helpful to have a plan for any holiday that helps reduce anxious thoughts that may arise as you anticipate the upcoming day.  It can also give you a feeling of control as you adapt coping skills you learn on your grief journey.

Here are a few ways that can help you cope this  Valentine’s Day:

  • Be compassionate to yourself with meditation. Love yourself by taking time to connect with yourself by reframing your mind, body and soul with relaxation techniques, you can find many free online meditations on YouTube.
  • Commemorate your loved one. Feelings of love do not go away and no matter where you are in your grief journey, we never forget our loved one. Do something in memory of your loved one. You may decide to volunteer at your loved ones favorite charity, share memories, write your loved one a letter or even visit their gravesite. Remembering your loved one with intention is a way to continue with the bond of love you shared.
  • Join a local grief group. Some communities offer brunches on Valentines Day and you may also consider joining a group in the day’s leading up to this day to help you work through your emotions.
  • Spend time with friends and family. Be open and let the people in your life know how you are feeling.  Sometimes being with others is just what is needed.
  • Make yourself your valentine, though it does not fill the void of your loved one, taking time for yourself and doing some things just for you can lift your spirits. Buy yourself some flowers, chocolates or do something that makes you happy (make yourself a nice dinner, get a pedicure, spend time reading a favorite book).  You will find that going out of your way to do something for yourself helps lift spirits.
  • Do nothing, it is okay to not celebrate the day at all. If you decide to do nothing that is perfectly okay, just know that some emotions may come up.  This is when you can use some of your coping tools to use and lean into the day.

Whatever you decide to do, navigating days like Valentines Day can be hard, so be gentle with yourself and you will get through the day.

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