It’s pretty much impossible to live up to the ‘picture-perfect’ ideal - but with the constant bombardment of edited and polished content around every major holiday, there’s more pressure than ever before.

Valentine’s Day is no different.

Even for people in a committed and happy relationship, it can be a difficult time.

Here are four tips for keeping yourself happy and mentally healthy this Valentine’s Day:

1. Keep positive

Try your best to concentrate on the good things around you. It’s easy to get hung up on negativity, but it’s a lot healthier to look for the things in your life that are going great. Make a list of the things that make you happy and another list of the things you’d like to achieve. Reminding yourself of the former and gradually crossing off the items on the latter will help to keep you smiling throughout the year, and go a long way to keeping your self-esteem up.

2. Take a break from your social media

While it’s fun to see what friends and family are getting up to, the barrage of #relationship posts all over Instagram and pictures of engagement rings on Facebook can get a bit draining and you don’t have to be single to feel that.

3. Take care in relationships

It can be extra-hard at Valentine’s when you or a loved one is coping with a serious mental health issue. While the intent is there, sometimes depression or anxiety can make celebration difficult. Be understanding if your partner doesn’t want grand, sweeping gestures.

Someone with depression and anxiety or just plain introversion probably won’t appreciate a mariachi band cornering them in a restaurant as you propose. Use your judgment and tailor your day.

4. Look out for your people

If you’re an employer, you probably know the people who work for you well. Some of them might become a bit more withdrawn as they face Valentine’s alone, a small gesture like just asking how they’re doing can help. You don’t need to buy them flowers, just let them know someone cares.

Of course, it’s a good idea to be subtle as well as caring, posters signposting mental health services in the kitchen, or gently suggesting the use of an employee assistance programme are good ways to make sure those who are struggling can get the help they need and deserve.

David Price, CEO and workplace wellbeing expert at Health Assured


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