for better mental health

Valentine's day and mental health

Many of us struggle to live up to the ideals we see on TV, in advertising and on social media, whether we are in a relationship or not. That's why days which are supposed to celebrate love and togetherness can highlight how different, alone or low we feel.

These feelings may be even more difficult during the coronavirus pandemic, when we might not be able to spend time with people we care about, or meet new people and feel connected with others. And our usual ways of coping may not be available right now.

We're using Valentine's day as an opportunity to share advice and personal stories which might help if you're struggling, today or any day.

We have information on:

Support during coronavirus

Many of us are finding things tough during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our coronavirus information hub has lots more information which may help, including tips for your wellbeing and ways to find support.

Loneliness

Feeling lonely isn't in itself a mental health problem. But it is something that a lot of people with mental health problems struggle with.

There are many reasons that you might feel alone. It's not always about not having anyone around. Loneliness is simply about not feeling connected.

If you're feeling lonely around Valentine's day or at any other time, we have some tips for managing loneliness which may help.

John's story

John lives with social phobia and struggles with meeting people. He writes about the steps he's taking to recover.

"I have made several online acquaintances, but this is a life-changing thing, and it's not going to happen overnight."

Low self-esteem

Self-esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves. It's based on our opinions and beliefs about ourselves, which can sometimes feel difficult to change.

If you have low self-esteem you may feel like you dislike yourself, like you're worthless or no one likes you.

Days like Valentine's day can be difficult because there are a lot of portrayals of unrealistic and idealised relationships to measure yourself against. This might make you feel as if you or your relationships are not good enough.

If you're feeling any of these things today, or any day, some things that can help include being kind to yourself, looking after yourself and setting yourself a challenge.

Visit our page on taking care of your self-esteem to find more tips for supporting yourself.

Natasha's story

Natasha writes about rebuilding her self-esteem after a traumatic experience, and how she is helping others with their confidence.

"I gradually learned to be kinder, and value myself more."

Mental health in relationships

Even if you're in a loving relationship, you might feel left out on Valentine's day.

Going through difficult times together can sometimes make our relationships stronger. But they can also cause arguments or stress, and make us feel like we are not living up to the 'perfect' image we see around us.

If you feel this way, it might help to read Clare and Kate's stories below, where they talk about how they manage mental health in their relationships. Our pages on mental health problems and helping someone else also have tips for taking care of yourself and supporting others.

Clare's story

Clare and her husband both have mental health problems. She shares the ways they have learned to cope.

"Finding new tools and techniques can be valuable, in ways you don't always expect."

Read Clare's story

Kate's story

Kate blogs about how her relationship was affected when she became her husband's carer.

"I was combating his negativity every day, trying to cajole him into keeping going."

Read Kate's story


What to do if you're struggling

There is support out there for you.

  • Side by Side is Mind's supportive online community where you can feel at home talking about your mental health and connect with others who understand what you are going through. Visit Side by Side to join up.
  • Did you know your GP can help you with mental health? Read our guide to seeking help for a mental health problem to find out more.
  • See what your local Mind could offer, or call Mind's Infoline for support.
  • You can talk to someone on the phone right now, by calling Samaritans on 116 123.

If you feel unable to keep yourself safe, it's a mental health emergency.

Get emergency advice

This information was published in February 2021. 

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