For the Valentine’s Day Stowe guests, we catch-up back again with a regular blogger for us, Claire Black from Claire Black Divorce Coaching.
Claire is one of the UK’s first accredited specialist Divorce Coaches, a former lawyer, and Advanced NLP Practitioner. Today, she shares her tips on how to handle Valentine’s Day when you are going through a divorce or separation.
When you’re in the middle of a separation, Valentine’s Day might seem like the last thing you need right now. All those reminders of romantic love, emotions and dinner dates. The commerciality of Valentine’s Day is almost impossible to ignore. Even Google will probably change its logo to surround it with floaty hearts.
For those of you who are going through a break up, Valentine’s Day can be sad and depressing. I know, I’ve been there. It is easy to feel low and lose yourself in thinking about the “what if’s and the regrets.
I am here to reassure you that you do have a choice. Like me, you can consciously decide to make things different. You have power over the remote control to your brain, and there are things you can do to dial down your feelings.
So, I’ve created a list of my top seven tips to handle Valentine’s Day this year.
Ask yourself empowering questions
Your brain will always try to answer the questions you ask it. Try asking yourself how you can make the day better for yourself. How could you show yourself a little love? Buy yourself flowers, go on a ‘date’ with your kids, watch a funny movie, or buy yourself those chocolates. Why rely on someone else to do it for you?
Flip your focus
Instead of thinking about what you might be missing, think about what you DON’T have to put up with any more. What always irritated you about your ex? What can you do now that you couldn’t do before?
Disconnect from social media. Don’t check up on your ex, to see what they are doing. That way madness lies. Instead, flip your focus back to yourself, and what you can do to make things that little bit easier.
Have some fun and do something different
Spend time with other people in a similar situation. Get together with your single friends, and have an anti-Valentine’s Day get together, or a games/movie night. Try out that new class you’ve been meaning to go to.
If you and your ex always went to the same place, or did the same thing on Valentine’s day, make a conscious effort to do something different – try something your ex would never have done but that you know you’re going to love. Create a new memory that, in time, will override the old ones.
Show your loved ones how much you appreciate them
Valentines doesn’t have to be about romantic love. So today, let your kids, your family, your friends know how much you love and appreciate them. Give your best friend a call and let them know how much you appreciate the support they have shown you over your break up.
Spread the love
Do something kind for someone else. When we do kind things for others, it boosts our serotonin levels, the neurotransmitters which help us to feel satisfied and content. Many anti-depressants work by increasing serotonin levels in our body – why not do the same thing simply by doing something nice for someone else?
Have an attitude of gratitude
Gratitude is a fantastic antidote to stress. Write a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for and stick it to your fridge. Concentrate on it for 30 seconds and see how you feel. Do you notice your mood lifting? Consciously looking for the good things we have also helps to boost your feel-good hormones, and it will train your brain to start looking for the positives, even when things might seem really challenging.
Know that this too shall pass
Remind yourself that this too will pass. You will feel better, you will get through this. If this is your first Valentine’s Day on your own, know that you will never have to go through this “first” again. Next time will always be easier.