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You may be feeling the blues during this stretch of celebrations from the new year to the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Being single during this season can feel particularly rough and lonely, especially if you are going through a breakup, you’ve recently become single, or have no dating prospects on the horizon.
While it’s important to acknowledge your feelings about your singlehood (and not run from them), it’s just as essential to take the absolute best care of yourself, keep a positive attitude, and have a full life despite the relationship void you feel.
Here are 6 strategies to help you commit to yourself and your happiness now:
Being honest about how you feel rather than denying your feelings means examining your emotions without judgment. Give yourself permission to feel disappointed, angry, sad, or anxious about being single from a neutral place.
If you ignore your feelings, you may be prone to physical symptoms and mental health issues. So, if you are telling yourself to “suck it up” when it comes to being single or not allowing yourself to feel down, you may be unintentionally making things worse.
Take time to reflect and remember your feelings need acknowledgement, understanding, and space to be because by nature, they are temporary. Feeling your feelings is an important aspect of growth and healing.
Invest in yourself and all areas of your life at the same time that you focus on finding a partner. Whether it’s concentrating on career growth, following a passion or hobby, or spending quality time connecting with friends and family, life will feel happier when you prioritize your well-being.
You will also feel more empowered (and confident while dating) if you identify and act on your goals. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your goals or unsure of what you want to achieve, start small and focus on taking first steps. Remind yourself that you don’t have to have all the answers, but taking action — even something simple like joining a dating site — will feel better than avoiding or depriving yourself of what you want and deserve.
Identify the pros and cons of being single, and don’t fixate on the negatives. This doesn’t mean pretending you love being single if you desperately want a partner. Again, I am not suggesting you just “get over it” and act like everything is okay when you are feeling unhappy or wishing you had a partner. Identify the pros and cons of being single, and don’t fixate on the negatives.
Do your best to focus on the upside of being single, such as the freedom, time, and independence you have, as well as anything else you find empowering about it.
Social media can contribute to singles feeling even more disappointed or lonely, especially during Hallmark holidays, such as Valentine’s day. Don’t torture yourself further by scrolling through social media posts of couples celebrating engagements, pregnancies, or births and comparing yourself to others in relationships.
Instead give yourself the gift of a social media detox or break, especially when a particular day on the calendar makes you feel sad. You can choose how long a break from social media you need to restore balance in your life. For example, consider taking a one-month break and then limiting your use to 30 minutes a day.
It’s natural to feel down about being single, but do your best to enjoy your life. Make plans that bring you joy, such as celebrating Galentine’s Day and spending time with your friends. Make sure you are connecting with your support system, especially with other single friends during holidays and lonely moments. Make time for hobbies, academic pursuits, personal growth or career development opportunities, and other areas of interest.
You can’t expect to feel good about yourself and your life if you are not taking proper care of yourself. You probably know from my previous articles that I am a big advocate for self-care. I believe it makes a huge difference in how you feel (and how you approach dating and being single). Treating yourself well and taking care of yourself in holistic ways will also help you feel more confident when you date.
Make a commitment to prioritize your health and adopt healthy habits on a daily basis. These include your nutritional needs, healthy sleep hygiene, physical activity and exercise, mental stimulation, relaxation, social contact, etc. You may also want to explore ways to center your thoughts through journal writing, meditation, nature hikes, mindfulness practices, counseling, and other avenues dedicated to your health.
Watching couples ring in the new year and celebrate Valentine’s Day can bring about feelings of disappointment and sadness if you find yourself alone. Those feelings may be aggravated with the winter weather in many parts of the country, and the omicron variant surge.
If you notice you are feeling depressed or anxious about being single, don’t try to change your feelings or judge them. Remember it’s a hard season, and it’s important to give your feelings some room and space to be. At the same time, take action to have a healthy mindset and a full life regardless of your relationship status, and partake in healthy self-care practices. All of these strategies will set you up to be more committed to and confident in yourself and your life.