Valentine’s Day (also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine) is a day in which we celebrate love. Originating as a Catholic feast day honoring one or two Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, it has evolved into a celebration of love and romance world-wide. It is interesting to note that this feast day was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, but the idea of romantic love evolved from the concept of courtly love. In 18th century England the tradition of sending greeting cards, flowers, and confectionary evolved.
Today we look at Valentine’s Day as a time to send or recieve flowers, chocolates, and possibly a small gift, along with going out for a nice dinner to celebrate. Due to COVID 19, it is more than likely that a dinner at a nice restaurant is not possible, nor is there much in the way of entertainment to go to afterwards. If it is possible, we celebrate within our homes, to the extent that we can. We have to social distance, and have to be careful of any at-risk individuals that live in our home.
Something that we don’t think about are those who have lost a partner and are celebrating alone. Or those that simply do not have a partner, and do not feel that there is anything to celebrate. This can be a very difficult time for this group of people and can lead to depression. Do not be afraid to reach out for help! SAMHSA has a national referral helpline that is open 24/7, 365 days a year, and provides local referrals for mental and substance abuse disorders. Their number is 1-800-487-4889. Helpline Center has a 24/7, 365 days a year helpline through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Their number is 1-800-273-8255.
There is another thing that we can do, and that is to nurture ourselves. We can choose to gift ourselves with flowers, chocolate, and a nice dinner out. Or we can do whatever makes us feel love – a walk in the park, a walk on the beach, getting our hair or nails done (or both!), watching a favorite movie, or cooking our favorite dinner. We celebrate ourselves in anyway that feels supporting and nurturing.
Valentine’s Day has many sides to it – we need to honor them all.
Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!
(c) February 2021 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.