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All Alone on Valentine's Day - We Got Your Back

Valentine’s Day is a day of the year that comes with lots of mixed feelings, heightened emotions, and often a sense of anxiety. A holiday like no other, there are many different ways that this particular commercial holiday has evolved to create a sense of distress.


In this blog we take a look at this popular holiday and how you can get into the loving spirit even if you are living the single life.



LivaFortis explores the topic of love.

How Do People Feel About Valentine's Day?


A recent study delved into the sentiments surrounding Valentine's Day among Americans. The findings revealed an intriguing perspective: nearly 50% of respondents deemed Valentine’s Day as "overrated." However, subsequent surveys indicate a shift in this perception since the initial study conducted in 2017.


What adds to this complexity is data gleaned from Facebook relationship status changes, which indicates specific times when breakups are most common: Valentine’s Day, late February/early March, and two weeks before Christmas. It's no surprise that some view the day as somewhat "overrated."


Despite the breakup trend and the overwhelming feeling of commercialism that surrounds the day, a substantial number of people still hold the day in high regard and still consider Valentine's Day to be romantic.



Being alone on Valentine's Day can be challenging.


Alone On Valentine's Day?


For those who find themselves alone on Valentine’s day, it can be easy for all the marketing hype to make you feel as if you are missing out by not being part of a cozy couple on this most romantic of holidays. There are many different reasons why people might find themselves on their own on Valentine’s Day, and they aren’t all bad.


The Office for National Statistics reports that “women not living in a couple, who have never married” is rising in every age range below 70 years.


Between 2002 and 2018, the number of singles between ages 40 and 70 rose by half a million. The percentage of people who had never married and were in their 40s doubled! More men and women are choosing to create lives and families without a partner, rather than compromising on finding “the one”.



More women are choosing to create lives and families without a partner.

Feeling Chronically SAD On Valentine's Day?


Some people who find themselves single on Valentine’s Day may be dealing with conditions like social anxiety disorder (SAD) or they could be living with chronic pain.


According to a study published in the journal of Pain, chronic pain can be a key trigger for developing anxiety, depression, and anger, and it can have a significant impact on social relationships.


Chronic pain is defined as pain that “lasts or recurs from 3-6 months and often lasts long after its usefulness is gone". Many people who live with chronic pain experience this pain for months or years - some even for the rest of their lifetime.


Chronic pain is still viewed as an “invisible illness” that has devastating impacts on people’s health and wellness. It also tends to foster a sense of loneliness and isolation. When you are in pain you don't really want to go out and do things and be sociable. You really just want to curl up on the couch and feel sorry for yourself, hoping that eventually the pain will subside. It's not really conducive to fostering relationships.



Chronic pain can have a significant impact on social relationships.


Many individuals living with chronic pain often talk about feeling like they are “trapped” by their bodies and unable to reach out for help. Sadly, chronic pain is still rather misunderstood as well, with some people believing that the pain is all in the chronic pain sufferer's head and that they “just need to get over it”. Subsequently the person in pain stops trying to explain their feelings, turns their feelings inwards, and so begins the cycle of pain, loneliness, and isolation.



When chronic pain starts to take over your life it can affect every aspect of your existence.


Chronic Pain And Stress


When chronic pain starts to take over your life it can affect every aspect of your existence. You can no longer go for hikes with friends, take your dog for a walk, play a round of golf, or run a marathon. Gosh, some days you can barely get out of bed for breakfast!


When your body and your mind are dealing with these relentless pain sensations it can have significant impacts on both your physical and psychological health. Stress makes pain worse because it directly impacts the nervous system.



LivaFortis looks at ways to manage chronic back pain, depression, and loneliness.


Ways To Reduce Chronic Pain


So what can you do to help reduce chronic pain and stress?


Some of the same things that can help manage chronic pain can help you manage any stress you might be associating Valentine’s Day with. On this day especially, it is important to shift your focus, express gratitude for what you have, and find ways to be your own best Valentine.


Here are some of our top ways to have a fabulous Valentine’s Day when you have back pain.



Be your own valentine.


1. Be Your Own Valentine


Instead of sitting around all day waiting for some secret admirer to pop out of the woodwork with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, treat yourself to things you really want!


Sleep in late - or take the whole day off work! Eat your favorite foods all day. Plan some time to engage in a favorite pastime or hobby. Go see a movie you have been wanting to see for a while.


You know what you like and you can make sure it happens!



Be your own Valentine on Valentine's Day and show yourself some love.


2. Show Yourself Some Compassion


A 2012 study published in the journal Anxiety, Stress, and Coping found that people who suffer with SAD are less likely to engage in self-compassion.


A more recent study conducted in 2022 found that "refraining from uncompassionate responses was directly connected to social anxiety, whereas compassionate responses influenced social anxiety via emotional regulation".


Taking the time to slow down, being aware of how you talk to yourself and of how you are treating yourself can go a long way in increasing your levels of self-compassion and can help you connect with feelings of love and well-being. A bonus for treating low back pain!



Beat the Valentine's Day blues and be your own secret admirer!


3. Be Your Own Secret Admirer


If you can’t take the day off work and you are in an office where grand romantic gestures seem to abound - be your own secret admirer!


Everyone knows that what we see on social media isn’t always what it seems. If you are doing it, others might be doing the same thing and being their own secret admirers. At least you know what you like, right? Send yourself a fun gift, a beautiful bouquet, or your favorite candy.


Loving yourself is a great place to start!



No one says you have to even DO Valentine’s Day at all!


4. Ignore Valentine’s Day


If you really can’t stomach the thought of all the soppiness and commercialism, no one says you have to even DO Valentine’s Day at all!


Try to limit your social media use since seeing all the lovey-dovey posts can make you feel bad about your relationship status.


A holiday is what you give meaning to, so if this one isn’t for you, don’t stress. It’s technically just another day on the calendar.



You can beat sadness on Valentine's Day by avoiding cupid altogether and do a marathon of your favorite scary movies or crime thrillers, instead.


5. Avoid Cupid


The marketing world will make the most out of any holiday so it is natural that, come Valentine’s Day, stores and social media, TV and internet will all be promoting romantic songs and movies and ads about romantic gestures. Just like our last suggestion it might be an idea to avoid these triggers altogether if they only make you feel worse about the day.


For people who have not chosen to be single these holidays can trigger intense sadness and depression. May swap out the mushy movies with a marathon of your favorite scary movies or crime thrillers, instead. If you are feeling tempted to hit your favorite dating app, watching Netflix's documentary, The Tinder-Swindler might make you feel better about the single life for a bit.



For a fun Valentine's Day do something you have been meaning to do for a while. Go on a relaxing hike or play a round of golf.


6. Do Something Fun


Just because it is Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that the world has to stop and we can only do romantic things on this day.


Why not do something you have been meaning to do for a while? Go on a relaxing hike, play a round of golf, try a new workout or class you have been considering. Order in a meal from your favorite restaurant - you know dining in is going to be crazy and cramped so you may as well create your own ambience.


Having something special to look forward to can put a more positive spin on the day. At least you know you will like the restaurant and the food, and the company is going to be pretty awesome, too!



Hanging out with friends on Valentine's Day can often be a lot more relaxing than going out on a date with someone new.


7. Gather With Friends


If you have other single friends, going out to dinner as a group can be a lot of fun! Hanging out with friends can often be a lot more relaxing than going out on a date with someone new. You can let your guard down and just be you.


When you are all in the same boat it adds a new dimension to the day and you can celebrate the gift of friendship and love. It doesn’t have to be dinner, either. Game nights, spa days, a cooking class, or watching a movie together can be a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.



Love and kindness should be part of every day’s celebrations - not just on Valentine's Day..


Conclusions


One of our favorite movies is called ‘Love, Actually’. This romantic comedy features a who’s who of British stars and it has a timeless, at times heartbreaking, but all around the heartwarming theme: Love is everywhere. One of our best quotes from the movie states that, “If you look for it I’ve got a sneaky feeling that love, actually, is all around”.


No matter how you feel about Valentine’s Day, at LivaFortis we believe that love and kindness should be part of every day’s celebrations. From showing love and kindness to yourself as you go through your health and wellness journey, as you deal with chronic pain, manage depression, cope with stress, to showing that same love and compassion to others who might be going through some of the same things that you are.



No matter what day it is, “Love, actually, is all around”.


Times have been tough lately so finding authentic ways to add joy to our days is important. We love to celebrate things, not because the media or advertising world makes us think we should, but because we are genuinely grateful for each day that we have here on earth to celebrate and lift up those around us.


We love to find the specialness in each day, as best as we can. And we believe that no matter what day it is, “Love, actually, is all around”.


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