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Valentine's Day is meant to be a celebration of love, but for many people, it brings more stress than romance. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with the stressors that come with Valentine's Day so that you can look forward to the holiday rather than dread its arrival.
Stressor 1: The Pressure for Perfection
Often, Valentine's Day stress stems from a quest for perfection, a desire to have a romantic celebration that is memorable and goes off without a hitch.
Many people spend so much time worrying about how to plan the perfect evening that they lose sight of what the holiday is really about. To avoid this stress, keep things simple.
Make dinner together instead of trying to surprise one another with the perfect meal or spend time doing something you both enjoy. The perfect Valentine's Day is one where you both can relax and focus on what you mean to each other, so keep that in mind as you plan.
Stressor 2: Cash Flow Woes
Valentine's Day comes hot on the heels of the Christmas season, and after all of the holiday spending, many people simply can't afford to purchase lavish gifts for V-Day.
Instead of stressing, be open with your significant other about the situation. Set a limit for gift spending and look for unique, yet inexpensive gifts like a magazine subscription gift or something handmade. Communicating about the problem will allow you to avoid misunderstandings and can strengthen your relationship.
Stressor 3: Keeping Up with the Joneses
Valentine's Day stress doesn't always come from worrying about making a good impression on your Valentine. Often, other people's expectations are what make the holiday stressful. You may worry you'll be the only one in the office who doesn't get flowers (or send flowers for that matter) or dread telling your mother that you and your Valentine are just staying in this year. Fight the urge to keep up with the Joneses this V-Day. Remember what's important about the holiday, and don't feel as if you have to live up to anyone else's standards.
If you have a judgmental person in your life (not your significant other), don't be afraid to tell him or her that you are perfectly happy with how you'll be spending Valentine's Day and that their opinion isn't required. Being assertive in a polite way can help you avoid feeling badly and possibly cut down on those negative comments in the future.
Stressor 4: Not Having a Valentine
Being single for Valentine's Day can be very hard on a person. In fact, studies show that calls to suicide hotlines increase on February 14th, and some people actually experience chest pains that mimic heart attacks due to the stress of loneliness on V-Day.
The solution to this type of Valentine's Day stress is not to go it alone. Talk to someone that you trust or to a professional about your feelings. Make plans for Valentine's Day with a single friend or a family member or spend the evening volunteering for a cause that you believe in.