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Cupid at Kenyon: The Stress of Valentine’s Day and the Importance of Self-Care

This article is part of our "Cupid at Kenyon" series, in which our writers talk about Valentine's Day.


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and with that comes a number of things: unnecessarily high expectations flooding many of our minds, unnecessarily expensive boxes of chocolate flooding every store shelf, and unnecessarily elevated stress levels flooding our bloodstreams.

The first Valentine’s Day I ever spent with someone was during my senior year of high school. The restaurant my then-boyfriend had wanted to take me to was already booked so instead we went to a cozy Italian restaurant around the corner from his place. I remember my mom had done my hair for me in a cute little updo as if I were headed to a middle school dance. The dinner was perfectly simple so I felt like I was going out to a normal dinner with my best friend. Afterwards we went back to his place and hung out with a few friends where I let my hair down and had a nice and relaxing night. Perhaps over the years I’ve forgotten the nerves and the excitement I was feeling at the moment, but that night was how Valentine’s Day should always feel; just like another day.

If you’re spending February 14th with a significant other, make sure to remember that the day shouldn’t be the one day a year you dedicate to extravagant gestures of love for one another. The day is a reminder to tell them one another you love them more often. It’s a gentle nudge that maybe you should bring home a bouquet of flowers more often than once a year. It’s a not so subtle hint that you should shower them in love and affection 365 days a year instead of just one day so that when the ever so anticipated V-Day finally comes around, the expectations for something bigger and better doesn’t turn the night into D-Day for your relationship and your sanity.

While many people are worried about building a healthy relationship with their significant other, my main concern is maintaining a healthy relationship with myself and those closest to me. One of my favorite Valentine’s Day ever was spent with my best friend, Mia. We headed over to my place after school, made milkshakes and watched the greatest movie of all time, 13 Going on 30. This year, I plan to spend Valentine’s Day with my friends and I couldn’t be more content with that. Sure, when being single on Valentine’s you could always buy yourself a box of chocolates or send a bouquet of flowers to your dorm. But more importantly, you can also realize that you don’t need an excuse or a reason to buy yourself (or others) chocolates or flowers.



Whether it’s having a Galentine’s Day, a regular Valentine’s date, or just spending the day on your own, remember to keep your body and mind as your top priority. When you feel the pressure of Valentine’s Day slowly tacking itself onto the back of your mind or perhaps way too quickly gathering right at the front of your mind, take a step back from it all. When too much is going on, don’t hesitate to say no to certain things (plans, dates, parties, etc.), because saying no to someone else is saying yes to yourself. If you can discover how to remove yourself from the source of your stress, whether it’s by meditating, going for a run, or resting a little bit longer every night, make note of what makes your heart rate slow down and remember to practice it continually. I understand that practicing self-care is much easier said than done. We have all spent many days and nights crying about being alone, about being left, about being cheated on, about being lied to, about not being enough, and really about anything under the sun. But this Valentine’s Day, remember to put yourself first no matter what because you are the best Valentine that you could have and we all have to cherish our relationships with our minds before we can even think to cherish our relationships with a significant other.



Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2


Sophie is a chapter writer for Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. She is a current senior double majoring in English and Film with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She took a brief hiatus from writing articles while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. But now that she's back on campus, she can often be found taking photos of her friends, writing gripping stories, making films, playing the cello, and singing shamelessly, but badly, in her dorm room.
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