It’s not sunshine and exchanging sweet cards to everyone in class anymore. You’re an adult, and it’s Valentine’s Day.
If you’re single, you may be feeling distressed. Lucky for you, we have a Valentine’s Day Survival Guide from Matchmaker Lily Womble to reduce your stress and increase the joy in your love (and regular) life.
Because let’s be real, in February, we need all the help we can get!
To survive (and thrive) this Valentine’s Day, here’s what you need to do:
1. Invest in self-care and celebration.
Self-care? (cue eye roll)
I know, no one will shut up about “self-care.” It’s like, we get it already! Massages are good!
But what I’m talking about is deeper than a facial. I mean investing your time and heart in celebrating yourself. In letting yourself rest. This is the first step to surviving one of the most stressful holidays of all time.
I’ve seen how an active approach to self-care and self-celebration can shift relationship to self, and consequently, to Valentine’s Day as well.
“Because wouldn’t the love you’ve fostered within your self, and for yourself, be something worth celebrating on this symbolic day?”
Science backs this up.
Self-care has the potential to “reduce stress and anxiety, enhance the immune system, boost energy levels, and improve overall well-being.”
Start today with these 5 concrete self-care action steps:
Get cozier with the Danish art of Hygge.
Text 3 important people in your life and make concrete plan to do something fun in the near future (concrete enough to notate on your physical or digital calendar).
Alternatively, be prepared to lay low. Isn’t is stressful when you need to cancel yet another coffee date because of an unforeseen deadline or complication? Remove that stress in advance by planning a few texts to send when you need to cancel last minute. Might seem a little kooky… but for those with insane schedules (like most of my matchmaking clients), this is a prudent move to dial down unnecessary stress.
Make a list of the experiences that have brought you the greatest joy in the past year or two, and schedule at least one of those things to carry forward into this year.
Give & Get: Text a close friend with a note about why you love and appreciate them, and ask them to reciprocate.
“Saying you ‘do self-care’ is great… but it’s not real unless you actually do it and it proves to bring about positive change in your life.”
2. Unload comparison stress.
Today especially, throw a stick and chances are good it’ll land on a mushy, in-love couple. Because when you’re craving a genuine connection for yourself, it can be pretty unpleasant drowning in stranger PDA. Seeing your desires realized for everyone else naturally breeds comparison stress.
“Comparison stress is a joy thief!”
Most of my clients respond to this stress by overloading themselves with dating to-dos, endless swiping and mean self-talk. This only makes the problem worse.
How does one protect themselves from the comparison trap?
Know that without meaning to, without thinking about it, comparisons will naturally form in your brain. It’s going to happen. It’s normal. But it doesn’t have to be where you mainly reside in your mind. And it most certainly doesn’t have to be the food you feed your brain and your heart.
Surround yourself with people who fill your life with joy, love and support.
Talk to your friends/family about taking a “negative talk” vacay. The stress cycle is only made worse by constant negative talk about dating, men or women. Try to step outside of your normal conversation.
“Changing the dating narrative will reduce stress, increase feelings of hope and transition mindset to control: you are in the driver’s seat of your love life, not the victim of it.”
Know that what is meant for you will not pass you by. Have you been stressing about the what if’s instead of really living? Take active steps to progress while also taking care of your heart, body and mind. Master that… and you may even come to gladly await this oft-dreaded holiday.
3. Reflect on the past to prepare for your awesome future.
So many of my clients ‘dress rehearse tragedy’ in their romantic lives - especially in the early stages of dating (what if he’s not as he seems… what if she isn’t ready for a relationship). In Dr. Brené Brown’s words: “When we're overwhelmed by love, we feel vulnerable - so we dress-rehearse tragedy.”
Do something truly radical to beat this mindset down: practice believing in the deep love you desire.
We dress rehearse tragedy when we’re afraid. In romance, fear is often a product of past relationships, and/or childhood trauma. Dr. Brown believes that ‘catastrophizing’ squanders the one thing we all want more of in life. We simply cannot know joy without embracing vulnerability—and the way to do that is to focus on gratitude, not fear.”
Preparing for and believing in the relationship you want means processing past experiences. What is revealed and/or learned from that processing then needs to be put into action going forward.
For aid in the processing step, I’ve created the Brazen Relationship Reflection Guide (download here). It’s designed to lead you through an analysis of past relationships like you never have before. The goal: to come out the other end not only set on what you want, but also believing it is possible.
“Because first dates aren’t the place to re-hash the pain. Do the work for yourself, for own health and sanity - so you can truly learn, grow and move on.”
How on earth does one accomplish this?!
Get in a comfy spot, play your favorite variety of background music, and start the reflection process - whether that be by journaling, via some other creative process, or utilize the Brazen Reflection Guide.
Afterward, keep your answers close. What did you learn? What can you use to continue learning about your relationship needs, challenges and strengths? (It can be helpful to process through step 2 with a close friend.)
There you have it. Three big steps you can take to have an amazing, love-filled Valentine’s Day. You’re a gorgeous, sparkly human. And I believe that the love you want is possible.
If you want more support to bring control, fulfillment and joy to your love life, check out Lily’s Date Brazen website for more actionable content.
Lily is a top matchmaker at Tawkify. After matching hundreds, she realized that with date coaching, women could harness her matchmaker tools to make their dating lives successful and joyful.
As the founder of Date Brazen, she is harnessing her passion to help women build purposeful, fulfilling dating lives with her customizable date coaching framework.
In her spare time, she can be found dreaming up a new Gilmore Girls revival, eating waffles with her boyfriend and singing three part harmony with anyone who can carry a tune.
Read more from Lily on Heartalytics, here.