Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
Valentine’s Day — the most romantic day of the year — when stores are overflowing with heart-shaped chocolates and bright pink teddy bears, can make single people feel even more lonely than usual.
But being single on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to dampen your spirit. Instead, you can use it as an opportunity to practice self-reflection, self-care, and indulge in time alone or with friends.
Schedule a dinner date with fellow single friends, and be grateful for the people you do have in your life — rather than focusing on the one person you don’t.
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From engagement ring commercials to coworkers discussing their dinner reservations, February can amplify loneliness when you’re single.
If you’re not careful, a heavy heart could lead to some bad decisions. You might be tempted to text that ex who isn’t good for you. Or you might settle for a date with someone who lacks long-term potential, just to alleviate your anxiety about being alone.
But being solo on the most romantic day of the year doesn’t have to drag you down. Here are five strategies for staying mentally strong if you’re alone on Valentine’s Day:
SEE ALSO: How to stay mentally strong when you’re going through a breakup
SEE ALSO: The top 10 reasons couples go to therapy, according to a psychotherapist who counsels them
1. Practice self-compassion
When you’re alone on Valentine’s Day, you might conclude that you’re defective, unlovable, or even permanently broken. But beating yourself up for being single won’t do you any good.
Respond to your negative evaluations with self-compassion. Ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who was struggling with this?” There’s a good chance you’d be much kinder to someone else. So practice giving yourself the same compassionate, reassuring words you’d give to a friend.
It can help you feel a little better about your situation and prevent you from concluding that you’re doomed to be alone forever.
2. Change the channel in your brain
Whether you romanticize past relationships (even the really unhealthy ones), or you predict catastrophic outcomes for the future (like becoming the lonely cat lady who children fear), don’t indulge in your negative thoughts. Change the channel in your brain to something more productive.
But telling yourself, “Don’t think about that,” isn’t likely to be helpful. Your mind will drift back to your negative inner monologue quickly, unless you do something to get your mind on another topic.
Wash the dishes, call a friend to talk about a completely different subject, or tackle a project you’ve been putting off. Doing something different can distract you and prevent you from spiraling into a full-blown pity party.
3. Practice gratitude
Recalling all the people and things you have to be grateful for can remind you that not having a partner on Valentine’s Day isn’t the end of the world.
Spend time thinking about the people you do have in your life, rather than the one person you …read more
Source:: Business Insider – Life