How to Survive Your First Valentine’s Day after a Divorce or Break-Up

Valentine’s day can be a terrible time of year when one is recently divorced, separated, or coming out of a breakup.  Realize that much of the day is a marketing ploy where people who do not have a partner can be made to feel excluded because they are missing something. It can be triggering for anyone who isn’t in a  romantic relationship. Take a deep breath and realize that this is just one day and you can definitely make it through. 

Here are eight quick survival tips to get you through the day: 

  1. Feel your feelings. If you need to wallow, go for it. Thrusting a false positivity on a situation that flatly sucks is not helpful; it only prolongs and shoves down emotions that clearly need to be felt. Trust that you have what it takes to move through the grief, anger, and sadness. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable. There is nothing wrong with you. 
  2. Stay off social media. Who needs to see all the images people are posting that might make you feel bad? Take a break from your phone. And, don’t text your ex! 
  3. Indulge yourself. Get your own chocolate, favorite movie, buy some special bath salts, order your favorite take-out, or get a massage. Do something nourishing for yourself.  Remember that loving yourself is the best remedy for heartbreak. 
  4. Focus on who you DO still love in your life. This might include your friends, your pet, or your grandma. Do something nice for them. Taking the focus away from our own sadness and being kind to someone else is a good balm for healing the hurt. If you have kids, make it a movie day in pajamas, do some puzzles, play some games, make some cookies, and catch yourself laughing. Snuggle up with your dog. 
  5. Get outside. Let mother nature be your sweetheart. It might be cold and blustery where you live. Bundle up. Listen to the wind blowing, get near some water, look up at the trees and the sky. Remember that you are loved by the universe. 
  6. Write a list of what you don’t want in a future partner, be specific. Write a list of what you do want for your future. Again, be specific. Get clarity on where you are headed in the relationship department. 
  7. Change it up. Do the opposite of what you have done in the past or do something you normally wouldn’t do. Change is inevitable. Start now by doing new things and  making new patterns and habits for days that might be hard post a break up. 
  8. It’s just a day. Either make a new plan for your day or just carry on as you would have any other day. This too shall pass. 

Missing someone can be hard and bring up memories of the past. Know you are now making new memories that honor your needs, wants, and desires moving forward. The kindest act you can give yourself day in and day out, long past a commercialized pumped-up holiday, is the gift of loving yourself. Make this day the first step on your path that brings you closer to who you really are and what you most want out of your life. 

About the Author

Sandra Wood helps divorced women regain their identity and confidence, bring clarity on what they want moving forward and heal the patterns of their past, so they aren’t repeated.  For more information visit

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