shutterstock_1146941063_tFcE4Rs.jpeg (shutterstock_1146941063.webp)As Valentine’s Day comes near, it can bring up troublesome feelings for those who are in early recovery. Whether you are trying to repair a relationship damaged by addiction or taking time to focus on yourself, this holiday can make you think of all the things you wish were different about your love life. Feelings like this can often be a trigger for relapse, but the holiday doesn’t have to bring negative emotions. That’s why we’ve outlined five ways you can enjoy yourself this Valentine’s Day while keeping your sobriety.

  1. Make The Day Your Own

    If you were in recovery during other holidays like Christmas or New Year’s Eve, you’ve probably learned to make your own traditions. You can carry that into Valentine’s Day as well. Early recovery is all about choosing what works for you and taking a step back from anything that doesn’t.

    If Valentine’s Day is stressing you out, you are not required to participate. It is perfectly fine to opt out of festivities if they aren’t going to serve you. Similarly, you are free to make the day about whatever you choose. You can dedicate the day to learning a hobby or skill you’ve always wanted to try or getting tasks done that you’ve been putting off. You don’t need to follow any set of rules or norms, especially when it comes to your recovery.

  2. Celebrate a Different Kind of Love

    While Valentine’s Day typically revolves around romantic love, it doesn’t have to. You can celebrate other kinds of love, whether that be with your family, your best friends, or even your dog. You can take this day to cherish anyone close to you that you are grateful for.

    Instead of focusing on a romantic partner, you can express love for whoever you want. If you are in early recovery, chances are your loved ones have been through a lot as well. You can take this time to show your love and appreciation for them. Even small gestures can make a big difference, like sending your parents flowers or buying your best friend a sweet treat.

  3. Distract Yourself

    If you don’t have anything planned for Valentine’s Day, try not to just sit at home. Boredom is a common trigger for relapse, and you don’t want to risk feeling bored on a day that has the potential to make you feel alone.

    Get active and stay busy during the day to avoid harmful thoughts or cravings. You can go shopping, treat yourself to a nice lunch, get some exercise, or all of the above! Just make sure that you are making an effort to have an enjoyable, productive day.

    Staying busy is also an effective way to avoid scrolling social media all day. Your feed will likely be filled with happy couples and romantic content, only serving to make you feel like you are missing out. Instead, put down the phone and head out the door to enjoy your day.

  4. Gather With Loved Ones

    You can spend Valentine’s Day with someone other than a romantic partner. Candlelit dinners and engagement proposals are not prerequisites for a successful Valentine’s Day. You are free to spend the time with whomever you choose.

    Gathering with your loved ones is a great way to embrace the nature of the holiday. You can go out to eat with your friends, have your family over for dinner, or video chat with the people you love. Some recovery groups may even hold events or gatherings on this day, so feel free to drop by one of those as well. As long as you are spending quality time with the people you want to be around, then your Valentine’s Day is as special as anyone else’s.

  5. Practice Self Care

    While the love of others is a great comfort, your self-love is the most important. You went through the hard work of getting sober and have learned to work on yourself through recovery, so if anyone deserves to be celebrated, it’s you.

    While restaurants are packed to the brim on Valentine’s Day, skip the typical festivities to focus on yourself. Practice some productive self-care like attending your therapy session or a meeting. Then, you can move on to the more fun self-care activities like getting a massage, doing your nails, or making a delicious meal just for you.

Spending Valentine’s Day alone doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Your recovery is about doing what works for you and prioritizing your sobriety, so celebrate however you choose. If you or a loved one are in need of addiction treatment, Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers offers specialized care for you to reach long-term recovery.

At Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers, we are dedicated to helping provide our patients with the resources and support they need to achieve a sustainable recovery. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction, our high-quality, trained specialists can help you achieve your recovery goals. Schedule your first appointment with one of our recovery centers today or call (330) 744- 1181 for more information.