Single on Valentine’s?

Humans are wired for connection so it is no wonder that being single on Valentine’s Day can bring with it a sense of feeling left out.

Society has a way of communicating that being in a relationship is the only way you get to celebrate Valentine’s Day. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE! Whether you are single by choice or single for reasons beyond your control (e.g., because we are in a pandemic 😷), you do not have to be in a relationship to take part in this holiday.

There is no rule that says you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day but if you would like to, these tips may help:

—Shift the focus and be your own secret admirer

Practice self-care, compassion, and self-love. Instead of focusing on what you may not have, reframe your mindset onto what you do have and treat yourself well.

—Reduce or eliminate love triggers

Today may not be the day to watch a movie with a romantic love story or listen to love songs. Rather, try a new genre or better yet plan something new that you can look forward to. Focus on your holistic growth by going on a hike, trying a new virtual workout, participating in a new activity, and/or tuning into YouTube for some virtual travel sights. In fact, research shows planning, watching, or re-living a past travel experience in your mind can elevate the feel good chemicals as if you were actually on the trip.

—Plan a Singles Zoom Date with Friends

Get together with others to play online games, watch a movie, cook a meal together, or just hang out.

—Shower someone else with care

Do you know of someone else who is single or recently lost a loved one? Sending a small but thoughtful gift could mean the world to another. Bonus, it may bring increased levels of happiness and connection to you also.

Valentine’s Day can be a joyful time if you are within a relationship but quite difficult if you find yourself alone. If you’re struggling with severe feelings of loneliness and inability to cope, it may be a good idea to reach out to a caring mental health professional. The global pandemic has brought with it a whole array of difficult and residual effects. We all need someone sometimes to help and support.

#alone #valentine #depression #connect #mentalhealth #california #lakeelsinore #temecula #murrieta #therapy #counseling

2020 in Reflection

As we stand on the welcome mat of 2021 and prepare to enter its door, I find myself reminiscing. Who knew when my family arrived back in Cali in October 2019 that we were headed into a worldwide global pandemic that would cause massive societal shifts that have come to change the way we live.

2020 what a year! It is said, “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” —Tuli Kupferberg

As I reflect, this is where my thoughts drift this morning and where I am able to take some solace amongst the continued uncertainties of this virus. Uncertainty and change is no stranger to me. The trick is to remember the blessings amongst the chaos and not get so caught up in it all that we forget to live. The virus has already stolen so much from us but what has it given us? How has it forced us to evolve and embrace what is important in life?

Vernon Law says it well, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

The surreal’ness of it all. Benjamin Disraeli said, “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”

I have lived this life of change and unpredictability before. In response to quick turnaround military orders, I recall the night before my families big move to Italy at the end of 2018 wherein we packed up 4 kids and 3 dogs and moved across the ocean. The true challenge of this change, the absolute blessings from embracing and moving within it. It changed us in ways we could never have imagined—despite the difficulties of a massive move, uprooting our kids, adapting within an unknown culture— we persevered as we soaked up the history, the culture, the food experiences. While there were many blessings, there were also true challenges within this growth-producing experience. We gathered a true multitude of memories from our time abroad as we were given the opportunity to travel all over Europe. We drove the crazy no rules roads in Italy, dived into various cultures and languages, walked the streets of Rome, ventured to Pompeii, white water rafted in Austria, ate yummy pastries in Bologna and huge (size of your face) homemade pretzels in Germany, went to Shakespeare’s Globe in London, plus so much more. We took the fear of this move and travel alongside us and did not let it hold us back. Now that we are nestled back in Southern California, these experiences are ones we continue to treasure.

I find myself thinking, what if we had not embraced the challenge and converted it to opportunities? What if I had let fear hold me back?

After all, “The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.” —Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

When we remember the blessings amongst the chaos we get to live fully—even in the midst of a global pandemic.