Every day as we try to stay at the top of our game at work or school,we face challenges that produce stress and anxiety. We live in a high pressure world, so it’s no wonder we all want a soft place to land at the end of the day. One of the best parts about being in a relationship is having someone to talk to when we’re feeling spent. Having someone who can remind us that we’re okay and that things will be okay is priceless!
But when we’re single, our down time can sometimes feel worse than our busy, stay-on-top-of-things times. We have trouble letting go on our own. Once we stop pushing and allow ourselves to relax, some not-so-great feelings can well up seemingly out of nowhere. Feeling lonely happens to most single people … a lot! But that sadness is not a weakness. Lonely is just the name we give to the hidden thought that we’re not okay, that something might be wrong with us. When we’re alone, we tend to focus more on our inadequacies and mistakes. We begin to wonder why no one wants us, why no one cares,… and a downward spiral follows.
When we’re not affirmed by a significant other, we have to find ways to support ourselves. We have to find ways to love ourselves – especially when we’re feeling unloveable!
Here are three ways that I find helpful:
- Evenings and weekends can be especially tough, so if it’s not too late when I get home, I like to go outside for a long walk around my neighborhood. While walking, I try not to think too much. Instead, I try to keep my head up and focus on the details around me, the effect of the weather on things, the trees, the birds, kids playing, whatever catches my eye. It’s like a walking meditation of sorts. I find things to appreciate. It seems the longer I’m out walking, the more I experience fitting in. The more I relax, the more I discover that my life is okay, and I am okay.
- Some weekends, I schedule a massage on my day off. A massage can lift my spirits a ton. An hour of being touched and cared for is really good medicine to give yourself. Most humans really need touch – without going into all of the science behind it, it just helps us feel OK. If you can’t give this to yourself, something else is going on… something you might want to look at.
- Take yourself out to eat at a nice restaurant. Not fast food! Go in, sit down, and enjoy being served by others. It’s important to remember we are not alone in this life. There are people everywhere who care and want to interact with us! Have a friendly conversation with your waiter or sit at a communal table/bar and strike up a conversation with others close by. Feeding yourself well is also a primal instinct for those who want to thrive and I’m sure that’s you!
Many of us grew up never learning how to really love our self. We don’t want to admit it, but we struggle with self acceptance and sometimes even punish our perceived inadequacies. While single or alone, it’s a good time to learn how and what you really need to feel loved.
How do you show love to yourself when you’re feeling lonely?