What Triggers Should I Avoid this Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day stuffed animals

Holidays can be a challenging time for those of us in recovery, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Societal pressures of what we should be doing on this day can lead to additional stress and further intense emotions. Many of us may feel lonely on this day if we’re single, as Valentine’s Day is most often considered a “couples” holiday. However, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be fraught with upsetting emotions and isolation; there are many triggers that we can prepare for to help us enjoy the day just like we would any other day.

  1. Recognize emotions that bring about intense cravings to drink or use drugs. Healthy Place notes that emotions such as anger, loneliness, fatigue, and anxiety can cause us to lean towards substances to cope with our emotions. Prepare in advance strategies and solutions that you can implement if you experience any of these emotions.
  2. Identify people or places that you should try to avoid that day. If you already know that certain friends, family members, or ex-lovers cause you to feel undesired emotions, plan on making arrangements that day that won’t involve them. If you do run into them, plan an exit strategy to help yourself calm down and recollect.
  3. Avoid isolating yourself. While it may feel beneficial to lock yourself away in your room and avoid talking to anyone on Valentine’s Day, make it a point to do something with your day. Go out to a museum. Attend a dance class. Create some artwork. Spend some quality time with your pets. These are just a few great activities that you can engage in that will help combat isolation, which could further lead to depression and loneliness.
  4. Identify movies and/or music that do not promote your mental health. Listening to sad songs and watching upsetting movies can further perpetuate feelings of anger, depression, guilt, and sadness. Buzzfeed states that watching a horror movie or reading a delightful book are a few ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day without bringing yourself down.

Most people struggle on Valentine’s Day when they create unrealistic expectations of themselves or engage in activities or with people that do not uplift themselves or their recovery. Stay mindful of where you’re at mentally and set limits to what you can handle. Don’t pressure yourself, and practice lots of self-love on Valentine’s Day. Who knows – make that day self-care day and focus on doing things that uplift you!

If you’re seeking a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment center, call us today at 888-743-0490 for a consultation. Simple Recovery prides itself on providing exceptional support and will work closely with you to develop the tools necessary to overcoming your obstacles and leading a happier, healthier life. Make the decision to place your happiness and health as top priority and call us today.