By: Lindsay Hopper
It’s coming! (Cue scary music) Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Along with all the pressure and stress that comes along with it. Valentine’s day is probably the one holiday that will cause everyone anxiety. Single people don’t like the holiday because they feel alone. Married people struggle to find something new to do. And people that are in relationships have that added intensity of having to impress.
So, why all the pressure? People tend to blame it on commercialism, which, to an extent, does add to the pressure, but it has to be more than that. Stores start selling Christmas decorations in August now and people don’t freak out, but the minute we see all that pink, red and white candy take over our local drug store, we immediately start worrying.
Think about the origins of Valentine’s Day. It actually began as a liturgical celebration for a couple saints named Valentinus. Then, you have this dude, Saint Valentine, who is now the most prominent association with Valentine’s Day, who was basically martyred for marrying soldiers who had been banned by the royal court from ever getting married. When you simplify things, and get back to the basics, this day is actually about a guy giving people hope. Hope for the future, hope for love, hope for a shot at a happy life. This day is supposed to be a happy day, but we have managed to make it a day that is so high in stress that I’ve actually seen it ruin relationships!
How do you avoid becoming a causality of Valentine’s Day? Well, for starters, nix the expectation. Expectation is the seed of all stress. You hear people say, “Well I just want everything to be perfect!” It won’t be. Sorry. There’s no such thing. And I don’t say that from a cynical point of view, it’s just the truth. Put your expectations on things, and you can also expect to be disappointed. You can’t control everything and make it turn out the way you picture it. You don’t know what the weather will be like, if the restaurant you want to go to is booked, if your waiter is having a bad day, or if your significant other didn’t read your mind and forgot to get you that bracelet you’ve been hinting at all month. Execution does not always go as planned. Which brings me to the next tip on how to stay sane.
Be flexible. Remember why you’re really celebrating. It’s not so you can wear a new dress and get presents. It is a perk, but not the reason. It is so you can celebrate love. Not just romantic love, but love in general. Love for your best friend, for your co-workers, for the earth. Love is an awesome gift that The Universe has given us to remind us that there is good in the world. The Universe celebrates this all year long, every minute of every day, and expresses it in the form of a sunset or a flower blooming. Think about how amazing it is to be able to feel that!
Lastly, don’t wait until February 14th to express how you feel. Take a page out of The Universe’s book and celebrate every day. If you spend every day celebrating love and hope and all the beauty that goes with it, and you express that to not just your partner but your friends and family, the people you work with and even strangers, there will be no pressure! Because you are living the essence of what Valentine’s Day is every day of your life. You won’t spend one day a year needing to feel a huge gust of love and affection because that wind is blowing all year round. So smile, Valentine’s Day is coming. Just another day to bask in the sunshine and smell the roses and remember how lucky we are to have one another!