If you haven't been drinking, and are about to have your first sober Valentine's Day, it's only natural to think about how the day might impact you. From finding other ways to celebrate with a date, to coping on your own, the holiday can be a lot to handle. But rest assured there are plenty of ways to get through it all, without alcohol.
One of the best places to start is by acknowledging how and why it might be difficult. "Holidays bring up stronger emotions for most of us than non-holiday times," Josh Klapow, PhD, a clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. "Being sober for the first time puts you in a vulnerable state."
If you drank on Valentine's Day in the past, there might be lingering associations with alcohol. "Combine that with either pressure to use from your social circle or feelings of loss and regret or other negative feelings that can arise during the holidays, and the desire to cope by drinking can be quite strong," Klapow says.
That said, you can still remain sober throughout the day, and even have a good time. "Prepare for it, don’t pretend it won’t have an impact, and schedule your Valentine's Day so that you are not left with simply having to fight urges," Klapow says. Below, experts share more tips if you won't be drinking on Valentine's Day.