Valentine’s Day was originally about religion, not romance. Over the centuries, the saint and the date, February 14, were further connected to the idea of romantic love through cupid, poetry and Hallmark cards. In the U.S., it has become associated with hearts, joy, and connection. It can also intensify the feelings of loss and sadness.However, feeling lonely is not limited to February 14. So how can we manage the disconnection and isolation that comes from loneliness?
Valentine’s Day was originally about religion, not romance. Over the centuries, the saint and the date, February 14, were further connected to the idea of romantic love through cupid, poetry and Hallmark cards. In the U.S., it has become associated with hearts, joy, and connection. It can also intensify the feelings of loss and sadness.
However, feeling lonely is not limited to February 14. So how can we manage the disconnection and isolation that comes from loneliness?
Mindset is key. Focusing on what we don’t have tends to leave us drained and exhausted. Always looking at others' lives and comparing it to ours is truly depressing. Figuring out what you do have and what you want in your life can set you on a clearer and lighter path of self-love, and at the end of the day, the most important relationship you must have in life is with yourself.
Here are some practical tips to celebrate you, your greatness, and your flaws:
Prioritize yourself. Start with the body (your physical Self) and move through our other layers: emotional, mental and spiritual. Notice how your body feels when you eat, move, interact with others and honor those feelings. Comfort foods may help but tend to be short-lived. What people are uplifting? Who is draining?
Remind yourself that being alone and lonely can be different. Create the time and space for solitude. Choosing solo time to engage in activities you value and reset you can be invigorating. Often you emerge from that space re-energized and willing to engage with others more beneficially.
Write. Use the old-school approach to centering yourself. Write your intentions or goals for some of the big areas of your life: career, personal, family, social. Write what you really want, not what you think you should do or have. Write what your ideal life looks like and take the time to visualize it! Writing is a healthy and healing way to reconnect with yourself.
Consider doing some counseling or coaching. Exploring your Self with a professional who can guide you may help you to determine the various detours you have taken and how to redirect yourself back to your authentic path. Asking yourself the hard questions: Who am I? What do I want at this point in my life? What am I scared of? What mindset am I using?
Plan a playdate with yourself. Use Valentine’s Day as a day for discovery and adventure. Instead of focusing on the fact that you are “single.” Be kind to yourself and plan something interesting and fun. Maybe with friends or solo. Either way, enjoy the creation part as well as the actual adventure!
Remember that being lonely is one of many different emotions we can experience as a human being. The intensity and duration of that feeling depends on the meaning you give it. Change is inevitable and feelings are temporary. Learning to ride the wave is an important life skill.