The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
The advertisements for heart-shaped candies, sentimental gifts, bouquets of red roses, and fancy date nights have already started to flood our emails and social media accounts. This can only mean one thing — Valentine’s Day is almost here.
If you’re in a happy romantic relationship, this can be an exciting day to look forward to. But, if you’re a widow, divorced, or single, this day reminds you that you don’t have that special someone. Many people refer to these feelings of loneliness and sadness on this holiday as “Valentine’s Day depression.”
As a single woman, I found myself dreading this holiday until I started to make plans that will make the day more fun for me. So, for those of you who haven’t found, or no longer have, your life partner, here are seven ways to avoid Valentine’s Day depression.
1. Remind Yourself of the Love That You Do Have In Your Life
At a talk in London in 1913, Abdu’l-Baha, one of the central figures of the Baha’i Faith, explained that there are four kinds of love:
(a) The love of God towards the identity of God. Christ has said God is Love. (b) The love of God for His children—for His servants. (c) The love of man for God and (d) the love of man for man. These four kinds of love originate from God. These are rays from the Sun of Reality; these are the Breathings of the Holy Spirit; these are the Signs of the Reality.
It’s important to keep in mind that romantic love is only one form of one type of love that people can experience. We still have the love of our family, friends, and God — who created us out of love. Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, revealed the following words from God:
I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life.
And isn’t this the greatest and most powerful love of all?
2. Surround Yourself With People Who Make You Happy
There are so many people in our lives that we have to be grateful for. So, instead of spending time alone and feeling sorry for yourself, plan a fun outing with loved ones.
When you surround yourself with positive and uplifting people, you naturally become more upbeat yourself.
The Baha’i writings say that just like “diseases in the world of bodies are extremely contagious, so, in the same way, qualities of spirit and heart are extremely contagious.”
3. Practice Self-Care and Self-Love
You don’t have to wait for someone to buy you those roses, chocolates, or jewelry. If those gifts and trinkets make you happy, buy them for yourself. Use this day to show yourself some love.
Often people crave the feeling of attachment and affection as opposed to the relationship itself. Oxytocin, for example, is the neurochemical that produces the feeling of bonding and feeling safe with others. We can feel a surge of this happy chemical by just getting a massage or receiving a good hug.
4. Spread Loving-Kindness to People Who Feel Lonelier Than You
You may want to consider finding creative ways to do acts of loving-kindness this Valentine’s Day. In a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, it says:
The more we make others happy the greater will be our own happiness and the deeper our sense of having served humanity.
Perhaps you may want to volunteer at a homeless shelter or nursing home and uplift people who feel lonelier than you do.
5. Do Something That You Love
Set aside some time to have some fun. For example, you may want to watch funny movies or host a game night with friends. We all have activities that we love to do.
I, personally, always feel inspired when I am expressing myself through the arts and creating something new. Baha’u’llah wrote:
Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation.
6. Remind Yourself of the Benefits of Being Single
Parenting is hard work. Parenthood is one of the most rewarding jobs, but also one of the most exhausting ones. They never get a day off.
So, if you are feeling sad or worried that you haven’t married and had kids yet, remind yourself of the independence and free time you have as a single person. Once you have kids, your responsibilities and priorities will change dramatically. So, take advantage of the autonomy you have over your life now.
7. Make a Plan to Achieve Your Goals
If Valentine’s Day reminds you that you want to find your true love, then you may want to start praying that you will attract this person into your life.
Baha’is believe that praying is a five-step process that involves arriving at a decision during a period of contemplation, having “determination to carry the decision through,” having faith and confidence that the “right thing will come to your need,” and acting as though your prayers have already been answered.
If you’re feeling depressed on Valentine’s Day, you’re not acting like your prayers have been answered. As Ruth Moffett, a Baha’i author, wrote after hearing Shoghi Effendi speak about prayer, “Greater than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered, and greater than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out.”
I hope this article uplifts all of you single ladies and gentlemen. Let’s make this a joyful and productive Valentine’s Day!
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