By Monica Jackman
Valentine’s day is for everyone, but spend it the way that you want to and in a way that lifts you up.
It is normal to experience feelings of loneliness on Valentine’s Day and in the weeks leading up to it. As an accredited Counsellor with the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, I have worked with many people who feel lonely.
Loneliness is not necessarily being alone. Many people can be alone for extended periods and not feel lonely. We can also feel lonely and surrounded by people. Loneliness can be felt for many reasons including:
- Feeling alone when you don’t want to be alone.
- When you are missing friends or loved ones who are no longer in your life.
- When you are dealing with a transition in your life such as moving house or starting a new job.
- When you feel that there is no one special for you in your life that understands, accepts, loves, and supports you as you are.
These feelings can arise around Valentine’s Day. There are so many advertisements for restaurant nights out, magazine articles on how to make the perfect Valentine’s Day meal at home, and displays of cards, flowers, and chocolates in every shop.
These feelings of loneliness can make it harder for people to take social risks, leading them to have a negative view of themselves.
Ways of coping:
- Everyone will deal with feelings of loneliness in their own way, but there are some coping strategies that can help.
- Talk kindly to yourself and remind yourself of your self-worth.
- Avoid feeling discouraged or isolating yourself.
- Research and make plans for social events for the coming months.
- Get in touch with old friends.
- Spend time in nature alone or with family or friends.
- Read an interesting book or a book that makes you laugh.
- Listen to relaxing music or watch a comedy on TV.
- Get out of the house in natural daylight to promote the production of serotonin in the brain.
- Make yourself a lovely meal.
- Buy yourself the chocolates, the cuddly toy, or the flowers. There is no reason why you shouldn’t have them if you want them.
- It’s important to practice self-love on Valentines’s Day
- Remind yourself that you deserve to enjoy Valentine’s Day.
Self-love is not selfish; it is a necessity for mental wellness and for a sense of joy. It is good for you to love yourself and all that you have to offer in this world.