Checking Out of Heartbreak Hotel - 5 Ways to Break Free from Loneliness
"Love" is in the air as we approach Valentine's Day. Candy, flowers, jewelry, and love notes are being passed all around. It is pretty intimidating for those of us who don't have an object of affection or, worse than that, have just told their love to "...everything you own in the box to the left." Or worse still, you were told to "step to the left."
Heartbreak Hotel is always there to welcome you if you want to check-in. There is no reason for you to be LONELY even if you don't have the perfect love bunny. Here are five ways that you can break free from the loneliness trap and check out of Heartbreak Hotel.
Adjust Your Attitude
The biggest part of changing how you feel about any situation is learning how to change your perspective. And by changing your perspective, you can change your attitude. In a previous post, I talked about "Believing Different for Better." Don't get sucked into thinking that one day out of a whole year defines your whole love life. Saying things to yourself like "If I were love-able, I would have someone" or "If he/she loved me, they would do something special today!" And if so what you don't have that "someone special" right now. There are other people in your life that LOVE you and that she be treasured just as much as any "romantic" kind of love. Focus on those people who love and appreciate you all year and take this time to express your appreciation for them. Giving back to others take our minds off of our situation and the love we get back will help shift us into a more positive outlook.
Live in the Moment
Being grateful for each moment is one of the best ways to combat "feeling down." And truly living and enjoying the moment you are in is one of the best ways to get out of the funk of the past and the anxiety of the future. When you start feeling down or anxious, close your eyes and take a moment to appreciate where you are at that moment. Breathe deeply and appreciate each breath that you inhale and exhale. Think about all of the little things that you take for granted - a comfortable home, a means of income, family, friends, the ability to think/feel/move. Be grateful for each moment and stop worrying about what has already happened (you can't change that) or what MIGHT happen (because it also may NOT happen).
Check out this link for a short video clip on how to incorporate a daily gratitude practice.
Own How You Really Feel
While being grateful is a consistent practice for joyful people, so is authenticity. Yes, be grateful but also be mindful of how you really feel. Try to dig deeper than "sad" or "angry." And don't deny your feelings by saying things like "I don't really care" or "It doesn't matter anyway." How you feel matters. It matters a lot. And part of getting past how you currently feel is by truly feeling it. Someone once said that the quickest way to get past something is by going "through" and not "around." Don't sidestep how you truly feel. Express, honor it, and then consciously let it go.
Here is a feelings inventory list from the Center for Nonviolent Communication.
Most of us are so busy DOING and taking care of OTHERS that we often neglect taking care of the most important person in the equation - ME. This is an area that a lot of high-achievers consistently struggle trying to balance. The bottom line is this: if you don't take care of you, you won't be able to take care of them (or the things that you care about on your "to do" list). Self-nourishment is really important and does NOT require several weeks of "down time" to accomplish. Valentine's Day is a great day to practice some "self-love" by pampering YOU. Don't wait for someone else to "treat" you to a massage or a trip to your favorite restaurant. Schedule a massage for yourself. Call some other "alone" friends and meet up at your favorite restaurant. Or invite them to hang out at your house and do take out.
I also talked about this in a different blog post that outlines 12 ways to reduce your stress.
Explore New Experiences
One of the greatest ways to distract yourself and change your mood is to be intentional about exposing yourself to new experiences. What are some things that you want to do but have never made time to do them? I recommend sitting down to brainstorm a list of them (you will want to keep this list for regular use). Have you visited your local museum? What about the new exercise class your coworkers were talking about? Have you thought about learning a second language?
One great way to get started is to poll people in your circle on their hobbies. Most enthusiastic hobbyists are DYING to share the love of their hobby with someone else. Ask them how they got started or get them to sit down with you and show you the ins and outs of their hobby. Even if you decide it is not for you, you have deepened a friendship and learned something new about the other person and yourself (I don't enjoy that).
I found this interesting list of some out-of-the-norm hobbies to explore. Of course, I recommend something UNIQUE.
You don't have to be ALONE this Valentine's Day (or ever) stuck in Heartbreak Hotel. Practice your A-L-O-N-E: Adjust Your Attitude, Live in the Moment, Own How You Really Feel, Nourish Yourself, and Explore New Experiences. Check out of Heartbreak Hotel and step out to your best life now.
Life is so much more than one day. Life is each moment that we maximize.
Love your Unique. Live your Unique.
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