The shelves of bargain Christmas decorations had barely disappeared before we found ourselves surrounded by red hearts and messages of love and swiftly moved on to the first major retail event of the year.
Here in Britain wespend a lot of money on looking for love, and holding on to it – our ever-growing online dating industry is reputed to be worth around £250 million and those of us who have got a ‘special someone’ spent an estimated £1.6 billion on Valentine’s Day last year according to a Capital One survey.
There seems to be great pressure to be in a perfect relationship, and a great sense of failure if we’re not.
The truth is, however, despite what many social media postings try to project, that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship and most of us are just muddling through the challenges that life regularly throws at us.
So how about shifting the focus a little, and, whether we are in a couple or not, just train ourselves to appreciate what we do have in life rather than what we think we’re lacking?
Reminding oneself to be thankful is a very worthwhile process, and an easy way to avoid those all too frequent feelings of dissatisfaction that stop us enjoying the moment and make us wish our lives away.
An added bonus is that it doesn’t need to cost a penny!
One tried and tested way (which I still do myself) is to keep a ‘Gratitude Diary’ – just note down, at the end of each day, three things that you are thankful for.
It could be something as simple as hearing birdsong or seeing a beautiful sky, but just acknowledging on an on-going basis that each and every one of us has daily reasons to feel good can really boost our mood and prevent us slipping into Winter Blues (or Valentine’s Blues).
Whatever your relationship status this February, remember to be grateful for all those positives in your life.
Check out the website www.randomactsofkindness.org tor more inspiration.
There’s no better time to try this one out as the international Random Acts of Kindness Week runs from Valentine’s Day until 20 February this year!
• Amanda Craven is a registered, accredited Clinical Hypnotherapist and Life Coach based in the Scarborough area.