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How Hallmark Holiday's Exacerbate Loneliness


Person looking out window at bay

When we think of Valentines Day, many of us think about chocolate, flowers and greeting cards delivered in person or by mail by a loved one. When we have thoughtful loved ones making these deliveries, it can be hard to imagine what this day is like for the millions who don't.


Loneliness is not caused by days like Valentines Day, but it can certainly be exacerbated. As much as Valentines Day can remind us of the love that surrounds us, it can have the opposite effect for those that feel alone. Loneliness has the quality of isolation and not feeling as if one has friends or company around them. This experience can last briefly, or feel more long lasting.


Here are a few ways to help yourself through days like today:

  1. Allow. Feeling alone is a common feeling among humans, each experiencing it at different times. If you have had a recent loss, take the time to allow any feelings of grief emerge. For many this is difficult, as many of us are used to suppressing this discomfort. Sometimes forcing the feeling up through writing about the loneliness, or loss can help. Watching movies with themes of sadness can also push the feelings forward.

  2. Create Self Love. Plan to create a day of self love and self care. This can be relaxing or active depending on what you consider self care. Nobody gets to decide what feels good here but you!

  3. Find Nature. Being outside, among the natural world has a soothing effect. Make a small picnic, grab a book and head to the park or hike to an overlook.

  4. Movie Time. Pick a couple movies to watch that have a theme of hope for the future.

  5. Reach out by phone, text or email to people you care about.

  6. Volunteer to help people who may be suffering in a different way than you are. When we give, we also feel better.

  7. Mindfully Create Your Future. Take some time to envision what you'd like to bring into your life to resolve or shift the loneliness. Write it down... say it out loud... consciously invite what you want in to your life. Ask if there is anything that would need to change to create what you are hoping for?

There are times in our lives that loneliness stalks us. When we can meet these feelings with authenticity and gentleness, we often can grow closer towards what we'd like to create. In the meantime, showing up for ourselves and offering the gifts of love we normally look for from others can create the container for more of that to come into our lives in the future.


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