The shelves full of Valentine’s cards and gifts in the shops and the focus on the idea of a perfect relationship can leave some people feeling more isolated than usual at this time of year, says our member Jennifer Park.
Looking after your own self-care is one of the things that can play an important role in helping combat the negativities that some people associate with February 14th.
“People can feel isolated, lonely, depressed at any time of year, but Valentine’s Day can add to the sense of isolation, because of the greeting cards image of the ‘perfect relationship’. The part of it that is all about commodity can have a real effect on self-esteem.
“People may feel like they are left on the outside, when they see the row of cards in the shops, or their Valentine’s Day images on social media,” says Jennifer, a counsellor based in North London.
“Self-love and self-care are so important.
“Doing something that makes us feel good is crucial at a time like this.
“We’re often looking at the external forces that affect us and make us feel a certain way, but let’s look at what we can do to make ourselves to feel better too. Show ourselves a bit of love and some kindness.”
And this self-care could be anything from going for a long walk in the countryside to get some fresh air, getting some exercise, enjoying a relaxing bath or snuggling up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate.
Buy a treat for yourself – rather than a partner.
Other people in your life
Valentine’s Day focuses on a romantic partner, but there are other important people in our lives, says Jennifer.
“Focus on your children, other family members, your friends, your pets – those connections you have.
“We do not have to give and receive love in a romantic way. Give something back to the other people in your life.”
Your thought process
“Those negativities - try to keep them out of your thought process,” adds Jennifer.
“Question what you are thinking. Is it really true? The negative thoughts may not reflect the real picture. Be aware of how your thoughts impact your feelings,” she says.
A counsellor can help you explore your negative thoughts, help you challenge them and understand why you feel this way and how it affects you.
And remember … real life is not always like a greetings card.
To find a counsellor of psychotherapist who can help with loneliness visit our Therapist Directory.