Aug 05, 2020

Combating Valentine’s Day blues

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Roses are red, and yet Valentine’s Day seems to make students feel blue.

Something about Feb. 14 makes people feel a wide range of emotions unlike any other holiday. Because of this, the Student Health Center is hosting a meeting posing the question, “Does Valentine’s Day give you the blues?” The presentation’s purpose is to help students cope with their feelings and give them strategies to enjoy being alone on the holiday.

The session will be held on Thursday at the University Health & Psychological Center, in conference room 149E from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., followed by another session at 4 p.m. This session will help students build healthy relationships.

Dr. Rebecca Raya-Fernandez, a clinical psychologist in Health and Psychological Services, believes that there are many different emotions tied into Valentine’s Day for various reasons, whether a person is single or in a relationship.

“We want to present some better coping skills much like a ‘survival guide’ on how to cope with being alone on Valentine’s Day. Like doing something nice for yourself, seeing an action movies with friends, or going horseback riding – doing something you’ve never done before,” she said.

As part of the Wellness Challenge Kick-Off, this is the second year that the Health and Psychological Services has held this meeting.

Raya-Fernandez believes the meeting will be an interesting and fun outlet for students, faculty and staff. She said it will be a different and uplifting way to provide more information and tools to work with.

“Why not be part of a group or a social support system that provides an avenue where you can talk about things, process some of those deeper issues and have fun at the same time,” she said.

For Christa Williams, 21, a mass communication and journalism major who has been in a relationship for eight months, Valentine’s Day is not a gloomy holiday.

“It’s depressing for my single friends, but not for me,” she said.

Heather Forcella, 19, a liberal studies major, said that with advertising on television, radio and stores, it is a reminder for those who do not have valentines.

“Why can’t single people have a holiday,” she said, laughing. “It’s really just a Hallmark holiday.”

Raya-Fernandez stated that with the anxiety and depression associated with holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, she hopes to help students understand the phenomenon of the blues and the feelings it triggers in a supportive atmosphere.

“Valentine’s Day highlights or makes people aware of the people they truly care for,” she said.

Alex Orocco, 23, a business major, believes women are more affected by the holiday than men.

“It means a lot more to girls,” he said. “Guys are not really affected unless they’re in a relationship.”

His cousin, Gerardo Orocco, 21, a plant science major, who has been in a relationship for five years, is not affected by the blues of Valentine’s Day either.

“It’s always nice for me,” he said.

Raya-Fernandez also feels that to enjoy Valentine’s Day, people do not need to be in a relationship, but could spend time with friends and family.

“We hope it helps students get out of that mode of feelings that can be created on Valentine’s Day that makes their day stressful,” she said. “We hope to brighten their day.”

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