The time of year between Christmas and Valentine’s Day is a difficult one for many people. If you are not attached to a significant other, or if you live far away from family then this season can make you feel alone, and sad. Even if you have a partner and family around you, you can still feel inadequate as you imagine how everyone else is having more fun than you (why do we do that to ourselves??)
And just when you think you are out of the holiday woods, along comes Valentine’s day.
So what can you do to nip those blahs in the butt?
1. Spend time with good friends – Whether it’s in person, on the phone, or online you do have people that care about you so why not spend some time this Valentine’s weekend with them. Think about the people that are important to you, and that make you feel good about yourself and connect with them.
2. Take care of your body – Exercise increases the release of endorphins in your brain, which not only increase the feelings of well being but also lower the experience of pain. Fresh air increases the oxygen to your lungs and clears your brain, helping you see your life with more perspective and objectivity. Sunshine (even if its covered by clouds) improves mood, lessens stress and decreases the effect of Seasonal Affective Disorder. So this weekend, get outside and move around if you can.
3. Take care of your mind – When we feel low we tend to obsess about all the things that are not going as well as we hope. It’s so easy to get lost in the loop of repetitive negative thoughts that steal your energy and lower your mood. A quick five minute visualization exercise can help in fixing that broken record.
5 Minute Visualization
Sit comfortably on a chair or a pillow, and take three very slow breaths all the way down to your sternum. Imagine yourself sitting in the most beautiful garden you had ever seen. Take a moment to imagine what that garden looks like, smells like and sounds like. Now notice in the corner of the garden, a large vase. Walk toward the vase and when you reach it pour all of the negative thoughts into it. All of them going into the vase. Continue to do that until you feel a sense of relief. Now notice that relief and how it feels in your body. Do you feel lighter? Does your mind feel clearer? Enjoy it.
4. Take care of your child self – That part of you that is feeling the most sad right now is likely a younger version of yourself (your child self). We often find it easier to care for a child rather than for ourselves so here are a few things you can do to make him/her feel better:
- Write your child self a love note. Title it “You are loved”
- Locate that child self in your body (often it’s in your gut/chest/heart). Imagine giving him/her a big loving hug.
- Listen to what your child self has to say, much like you would to a young child (with patience and love)
- If you notice any negative feelings toward your child self, imagine what the exact opposite of that feeling would be.
5. Help someone else – Doing a good deed for someone else increases feelings of wellbeing by moving the focus away from yourself (plus you get to help someone in the process). Think of someone who is likely feeling even more lonely and down in the dumps right now than you do. Give them a call, bring them a yummy treat, or buy them some flowers. I guarantee you will feel better after.
6. Lastly, get some perspective. If you feel happier on a day that is not dictated by hallmark cards and overpriced roses, then why let this day be any different. This day will pass and everything will get back to normal in no time, at least until next year.
Lots of love ❤