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Mental Health Monday: Identifying toxic relationships

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – Valentine's Day is something many people dread and not just for those who are single.

In today's Mental Health Monday, some expert advice on how to identify toxic relationships and find the love you deserve.

"Stonewalling or telling you you're too sensitive or you just don't understand, or you can't take a joke, those are all red flags," Licensed Clinical Social Worker Stefanie Westover said.

With expectations to value your relationship this time of year, it can feel overwhelming and almost fake when your relationship is not where you want it to be. So it's important to take a step back and determine if it's something that can be improved, or if it's time to leave the relationship behind.

"Healthy relationships feel safe. They feel morally safe: meaning you're not going to be asked to do things you're uncomfortable with. They feel physically safe: you're not afraid of being harmed. They feel emotionally safe: meaning you're not worried that if you come home after a long day or not looking your best, you're going to get criticized when you're already feeling down," Westover said.

Valentine's Day is about celebrating love whether romantic or not, just focus on connection.

People who are more socially connected with friends, family and the community are much happier according to the Mental Health Foundation.

Although it may not be the most desired option, if you do find yourself alone this Valentine's Day, just know that it is okay.

"With hearts and red and pink everywhere. It can make us feel like there's something wrong with us if we don't have that special person," Relationship Coach Gloria Zhang said. "Love is something that starts within yourself first, and that in order to attract someone who can love us properly, we really need to start with looking within ourselves first."

The human mind is biologically wired for connection according to the University of California Berkley.

So if you find yourself newly single, or if you have been single for awhile, "Getting support from friends and family is one of the most important things to do because it feels like you are leaving something right that is providing that social support. And so having people that you can lean on is usually the way to go," Zhang said.

Article Topic Follows: Mental Health Monday

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Kailey Galaviz

Kailey is a morning anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3


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