Valentine’s Survival Guide – Reposted from Rick Hansen Foundation

Our Recent Post on the Rick Hansen Foundation Blog

For people who are single (and even for those who aren’t) Valentine’s Day isn’t always so sweet. Here are some tips and resources to help you through the day from Trish St John, founder of Sensual Solutions, an organization that assists adults with disabilities explore and discover their sexuality.

Remember your grade school Valentine’s experience? It starts to sink in around this time: This day isn’t always so great. And if you know the history of the holiday, St. Valentine’s story isn’t a happy one either. He was beheaded on February 14 in the 3rd century (which really sucked for him).

These days, many people feel that Valentine’s Day is uncomfortable, unnecessary and a cause of anxiety. Yes, one of the most romantic days of the year is also one of the most stressful. A commercially-driven economic powerhouse for florists, chocolatiers, restaurants, jewelry stores, and fancy underwear makers – it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of expectation to make the day extra special and romantic for your significant other. Now, what about if you’re single and living with a disability? It’s easy to feel down and alone on Valentine’s Day. Here are some tips and resources that will help you make it through the day:

Love yourself first: Spend the day appreciating you!

Reflect on your uniqueness and what you’re grateful for
Read a good book, have a nice meal, call an old friend
Eat chocolate and drink wine
Become a romantic – explore the art of romance and intimacy from a Sensual Solutions coach!
Enjoy the day no matter what you choose to do

Get out there: There are lots of fun group activities to participate in!

Check out some meet-up groups in your area
Discover the various Facebook pages and groups devoted to dating and dating for people with disabilities
Go dancing! Visit Just Dance! for a different kind of dance experience

Rage against the Valentine’s machine: Have a little anti-Valentine’s fun.

Netflix and wine, lots of wine
Have a “Stupid Cupid” event: a night at the pub with your friends, a night in with your family or cuddling with your pet on the couch
Buy a heart-shaped piñata and beat the crap out of it until candy falls out. Eat all the candy.

Love where you live: Forget all the hearts and flowers and make it a day to support your community.

Give blood. Denounce Cupid’s powers and give from your heart – blood banks are always in short supply
Adopt or foster a furry or feathered companion. Studies show that loving an animal reduces stress and increases the feel good drugs – dopamine and oxytocin. There are many terrific animal rescue organizations throughout the province as well.

Pat Benatar knew it best when she sang “Love is a Battlefield.” So gear up and get ready for another year of teddy bears and red heart-shaped balloons, but remember, it’s only one day – protect your self-esteem and send loving thoughts inward and out into the universe. It can’t hurt. And it won’t suck.

About the author: Trish St John is the founder of Sensual Solutions, an organization that assists adults with disabilities explore and discover their sexuality. Intimate and respectful care for men, women, and couples. Find more information about Sensual Solutions on their website, Facebook page, or Twitter account.

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