Unhappy on Valentine's Day? Make Self-Compassion your new BFF (Best Friend Forever)

Valentine's can be challenging for many people.  Children cry when they don't receive something from classmates.  Teens feel left out when classmates receive balloons, flowers, or stuffed animals and they don't get anything.  Young adults face their own heartbreak in the dating pool. Divorced or widowed persons mourn the loss of what they once had.  Overall, Valentine's can be be brutal and bring out a plethora of difficult feelings leading many to isolate from others.

Who hasn't felt the wrath of being unhappy during Valentine's?  The truth is, most of us have.  I know I have been there and done that---many times.    

So, what does self-compassion have to do with any of this? 

Self-compassion can be that constant BFF who is with us during moments when we are happy and will be even more present during times when we are unhappy. 

  • Self-Compassion is a true BFF: 
    • reliable
    • constant
    • non-judgmental
    • ever-present. 

I think self-compassion is a perfect date not only for Valentine's, but beyond this holiday.  Kristin Neff identifies 3 components to Self-Compassion. These include: Self-kindness, Common humanity, and Mindfulness.

Self-kindness: If you are feeling unhappy on this day, be kind to yourself.  Uncomfortable feelings are part of life and trying to avoid or escape from them won't make them go away.  Recognizing that we are in pain and being loving, gentle and kind with ourselves can be empowering. Try speaking to yourself the same words you would speak to a friend in pain.

Common Humanity: Realize that you are not alone.  Many people feel unhappy and lonely.  This is especially true during COVID times.  It's easy to fall back on thinking that we are the only ones suffering when we are bombarded by romantic movies and advertisements that basically point out that love conquers all no matter what.  The truth is, many people feel the same as you.  Being in a relationship doesn't necessarily mean that you have a picture perfect life. 

0239378001613256595.jpg Piccolina and Lulú trying to be mindful of their feelings.Mindfulness: Being mindful of our feelings and emotions requires us to observe our feelings in a non-judgmental way. Try noticing your feelings and identifying if you're feeling unhappy, lonely, or sad.  All too often we do everything possible to avoid feeling that way and that is what we are conditioned to do.  No one wants to feel sad or unhappy.  However, all feelings are part of life.  Let's start seeing them as transient and learn to sit with them from time to time.  

I invite you to try self-compassion and make it your new BFF every single day. Acknowledging your feelings, practicing self-kindness, and recognizing that you're not alone are all essential to practicing self-compassion. Try being gentle with yourself, just like you would be to a friend in pain.  This Valentine's day, try self-compassion!                                                                                                                                                

Credits: Hearts photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

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