South Dakota State News

Make this Valentine’s Day a sweet day

About the Author: Natasha Auch, CSW-PIP, QMHP is a psychiatric social worker at the Human Services Center in Yankton.

Growing up, Valentine’s Day was always an important day for the family business, a local florist. It always makes me smile to see people choose a gift to help say “I love you” to their loved ones, whether it’s through a simple card, a box of chocolates or the flower arrangement. the most exquisite. While many spend this day celebrating, others think of being alone or mourning those they have lost.

The good news is that we can use positive thinking and energy to derail negative emotions. We can recreate our own Valentine’s Day experience creating new memories and healthy relationships. Valentine’s Day is also a good reminder to reflect on our own worth and love ourselves and that we don’t need to depend on Cupid or other people to make this Valentine’s Day sweet.

If you need a way to sweeten up Valentine’s Day, then I have a great skill for you! I want to teach you one of my favorite dialectical behavior therapy skills. The ACCEPT skill is a simple yet powerful distracting or refocusing skill to help you work through that very real emotional pain, see things from a different perspective, and create new memories. Here are seven different distraction techniques you can try:

  1. 1. Doing Activities

Do something that creates a neutral or positive emotion. Some ideas include finding an event to go to, exercising, doing a puzzle, playing cards, going out to eat, hanging out with someone, or starting that DIY project.

  1. 2. contributor

Contributing to someone else’s well-being can distract from your own emotions. Another benefit of contributing is that for many it increases the meaning of their own lives. Some ways to contribute include volunteering, helping a friend or family member, surprising someone with something nice, donating things you don’t need, or sending someone a card. Making cards for people in a nursing home, hospital, or other similar setting can be a great way to help others through difficult times, like the holidays.

  1. 3. Using Comparisons

Using similes can also distract from your own emotions, but in a different way. You can compare to a time that was different or compare to someone who has it worse. Let’s talk about examples because this one is tricky. A lot of people don’t like to make comparisons with someone who might have it worse. However, watching TV or reading about natural disasters, for example, can help you feel more positive about your own current situation. Examples of comparing to a different time might be looking back at a scenario where you did well or comparing a time when you overcame a difficult situation.

  1. 4. Develop different emotions

Create emotions different from those of the present moment. It’s hard to just tell yourself to have a different emotion or to wish for it so often that you have to do something that creates a different emotion. Some examples of this might include watching a funny movie, reading a mystery novel, listening to upbeat positive music, or imagining your dream vacation.

  1. 5. To push away from emotions

Pushing away a painful emotion shouldn’t be the first and only technique, but can be helpful temporarily. You can do this by physically leaving a painful situation or temporarily blocking it from your mind. For example, if you are at a restaurant and painful emotions arise, you might physically leave the restaurant. An example of your mind temporarily blocking would be to imagine that the emotion is put away in a box and stored on a shelf.

  1. 6. Thinking other thoughts

Distracting with other thoughts fills short-term memory, so painful thoughts don’t continue to activate emotions. For example, counting down from a large number, thinking about song lyrics, or focusing on things in the environment such as shapes, colors, number of windows, trees, etc.

  1. seven. Activation feelings

This skill refers to the use of intense sensations, such as tasting tabasco sauce or lemon wedges (something extreme), taking a hot or cold shower, or listening to very loud music.

While the seven parts of the ACCEPT skill can all be good for distracting yourself or refocusing on the positive things to get you through a tough day, it’s important to remember that these techniques are not meant to be solutions to day-to-day problems or problems. to go through long periods of time. , painful emotions.

If you continue to struggle with painful emotions, please seek help. Help can be different for everyone. This may include contacting a friend or family member; it might be going to church or talking with a pastor; or he could seek professional counseling services.

If you want to seek professional help and don’t know where to start, you can learn more about resource options by visiting and clicking on the Behavioral Health tab or calling the Helpline. South Dakota Treatment Resource Hotline at 1-800-920-4343.

You can also visit or dial 211 to reach the 211 helpline.

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