Valentine's Day and Good Mental Health


Valentine's Day ♥ and Good Mental Health

Man with a picture of a heart on one side and a brain on the other

For decades, Valentine’s Day has been marked by sweethearts exchanging the traditional gifts of flowers, candies, and cards. Date nights get penciled in, and reservations are made for special restaurant dinners or romantic getaways. 

But as we enter the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, the real importance of our relationships with others has hit home for many of us.

 Protecting ourselves from COVID-19 has meant more than just wearing face masks and social distancing. It has meant limiting the ways we used to connect with friends and extended family. It has meant fewer hugs, less get-togethers and not as many opportunities to foster those social connections that are so important to our mental health. 

So this Valentine’s Day, let’s put the emphasis on celebrating our relationships with others? Think of the holiday as a way to let others know how much they mean to you. By recognizing and strengthening the bonds between those we love.

This is a great way to boost your mental health.  

Positive relationships make you feel better.  Research has shown that people who are part of a strong social network have a lower risk of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, depression and being overweight, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

The mental health benefits of having good friends you can talk to also: 

  • Increases your sense of belonging and purpose. 
  • Boosts your happiness. 
  • Reduces your stress. 
  • Improves your self-confidence and self-worth.
  • Helps you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one. 
  • Encourages you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise. 

Let’s Celebrate. Finding ways to celebrate holidays. If romance is on your list this year, but you don’t yet feel comfortable going out, you can mark the occasion by ordering take-out from your favorite, local restaurant. Dim the lights, add some candles and maybe a music playlist to set the mood. Don’t forget dessert.

Express yourself.  Sending cards to your close friends to mark the holiday. Write a message telling them how they make your life better. You can even drop in some of those little candy conversation hearts for a dose of nostalgia. 

Adapted from "A Why Valentine’s Day Is Good for Your Mental Health  - A Healthier Michigan Michigan"

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The RAFT program provides intensive mental health services to individuals in Long Term Care Facilities, as well as education, training and consultations for Long Term Care Communities, Community Providers and others in the community to develop the skills and knowledge base to successfully understand and work with individuals with Mental Health and Dementia Diagnoses.


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