Social connection is a basic human need. We all need to feel love, acceptance and belonging to live a happy and healthy life.
When one of our main social connections is severed, it can be devastating. The death of a loved one or a painful divorce can be difficult every day for years, and certain holidays can emphasize the pain. On Valentine’s Day, the world appears to be awash with happy, affectionate couples, exchanging gifts and enjoying a special day to celebrate LOVE. If you are single and feeling alone, it can be a difficult holiday to navigate. I propose you use the day to heal!
Your heart is like a savings account at the bank. You need to fill it up in order to have anything to take out. Deposits need to be larger than withdrawals to maintain a healthy account with a positive balance! A good strategy is to take more control over your own ‘heart bank’. Keep track of who is making deposits as well as withdrawals. Ensure that the deposits are bigger than the withdrawals. Make enough deposits yourself so that the influences of others impact you less. Maintaining a positive balance in your account will increase your resilience and enable you to have the reserves when you need them.
1. Celebrate yourself!
Use self-love to fill up your own heart. Make some deposits!
Your most important connection, at any stage in your life, should always be with yourself. You should always work actively on self-love! Celebrate your successes! Pamper yourself. Treat yourself well.
Love is the great miracle cure.
Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives. – Louise L. Hay
So often, as a coach, I hear people criticize themselves. Recognize when you are having negative thoughts about yourself and consciously stop the pattern. You are depleting your own bank reserves with the negativity! Much of the non-stop chatter that goes on in our minds is a variation on the basic message that we do not measure up: “I am not enough.” Why do we talk to ourselves like that? We don’t talk to a friend like that! In fact, we often enjoy the quirky qualities in our friends that they themselves dislike.
Your greatest treasure hides behind your self-loathing. Love it out of hiding. – Pamela Miles
Becoming aware of how you talk or think about yourself is the first step towards improving your deposits. Then work to forgive your difficulties as you would for a good friend, and celebrate your accomplishments! Be supportive! Build yourself up instead of tearing yourself down. Be a good friend to yourself!
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. – Buddha
Learning to love yourself, right now (not when you lose 15 pounds or stop some bad habit or make some change to be better) can have a tremendous effect on your life. You are worthy of love and connection right now. Not next week or next year. Do you self-sabotage, exaggerate your faults and cause damage, or do you forgive and accommodate your shortcomings? You need to get comfortable with your strengths and what you like about yourself as well as your weaknesses. Stop putting yourself down and accept your flaws as they are with self-respect and self-awareness. No one is perfect but we are all worthy of respect, love, and connection. Your account balance will grow if you can improve how you think about yourself.
Loving yourself… does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion. – Margo Anand
Once you convince yourself you are worthy of love, healthy boundaries and positive relationships follow naturally. Your children, friends, and family will follow the example that you set and find you worthy of more love and respect too.
Love yourself first and everything falls into line – Lucille Ball
2. Celebrate your time to be on your own!
Take a ‘stay single vacation.’
I went through a painful divorce and while reeling from the loss, a loved family member asked me if I was considering dating. I was so conflicted and afraid to go into the dating world that I didn’t have a good answer. I was told emphatically “Do not date for at least a year. Give yourself time to heal and rediscover your strengths and what you want! There is no rush.” This advice removed much of the anxiety of being alone and feeling needy. I was on a ‘stay single vacation!’ I felt a surge of relief and I highly recommend taking the time to be alone! It gave me time to accept my situation, reconnect with myself, and helped me heal to be ready for future love relationships. I knew when I was ready to start dating and was in a much better place because of the ‘vacation.’
To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You don’t need to be accepted by others.
You need to accept yourself.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
3. Celebrate the family and friends you do have.
Let the gratitude for the connections you do have right now fill your heart.
Are you thankful for what you do have? What friends are good for you? Who treats you well? Who do you need to reconnect with? Who fills you with positive energy that you would like to see more often? Who drains your energy that maybe you should see less often? Who can you do something thoughtful for right now? Who can you acknowledge with a thank you note? Who would you like to know better? What can you do to improve the quality of your connections? Feel good about the connections you do have! Congratulate yourself on who you have in your life.
A true friend sees the good in everything, and brings out the best in the worst of things. – Sasha Azevedo
4. Celebrate the friends you do not know yet!
Look for new connections you can make in the coming years.
Do you need new people in your life? Start to plan how to make new connections over the coming year. Join groups with similar interests, do volunteer work, invite an old acquaintance out to reconnect or a new one to get to know them.
Years ago, I found myself too dependent on two friends at school. After a total anxiety attack and skipping school to avoid spending a lonely lunch hour (both my friends were away on the same day), I actively started inviting other people to join us in the cafeteria until I had a much stronger community of friends. This brought so much more balance into my life. I had created a much more diverse and balanced group of friends — many I still appreciate today! Small steps to increase your connections add up over time. Connections just need to be made! Friends are out there — you just haven’t met them yet!
It is never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
If you are having trouble managing your separation please contact me. Divorce coaching can help you navigate the business side of your divorce and the emotional aspects of being on your own.
Pam Mirehouse, CDC®, Health and Wellness Coach, BSc. Hon. Biology
I am passionate about using separation and divorce, one of my own most difficult personal experiences, to create positive personal growth by embracing the discomfort and learning from it. I have been guiding, motivating and supporting people during their separation and divorce journeys since 2015! You are not alone – I can help you find your best path through your own divorce and thrive moving forward.
Build YOUR perfect life…even though you aren’t sure what that looks like yet…without the baggage of your divorce holding you back.
Consultation Request: https://theseparationproject.ca/consultation-request/
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2421255588140303
Location: Dundas, Ontario, Canada
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