by Meanne M. Mijares*
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Many places like hotels, restaurants and destinations will get overbooked in no time. You will see and smell the roses and chocolates, movies, romantic novels, you hear love songs being played on the radio, internet and record bars, gift items like teddy bears, perfumes and the like are all over the malls and flower shops. But one thing is missing-you have no partner! You are single and dateless! What to do? Simple. Don’t panic. Learn to savor and enjoy the single life on V-Day! Why not? Studies indicate that those in who are in relationships are happier than people who are single; but that is not always the case. Some people are actually happier living a single lifestyle while others may find themselves single at the time being as a matter of circumstance even though they still crave a relationship. These days, more and more people for an array of reasons are living the single lifestyle.
While at times living a single lifestyle can be lonely and lack the support and companionship that many relationships provide, there are also perks about being single. A single person is strong and able to live independently, and able to truly take the time to know who they are as an individual.
Living a single lifetime whether for a short period of time or as a long term situation does not mean you are doomed to despair and loneliness. It is entirely possible to be single and happy, to embrace the situation and make the best out of it.
Here are some life hacks on how to be single and happy.
Start a New Routine
Take the first 5 to 10 minutes to do something that starts your day out on a positive note. Declaim positive affirmations out loud with conviction and enthusiasm! Carry out a morning stretching routine. Take a quick walk outside and breathe the fresh air. Meditate, contemplate, and ponder. Imbue a little positivity to start your day. Do something that is self-enriching and begins your day on a high note. Now that you are single there is nothing stopping you from mixing up your morning routine a little bit. Try this hack and you will find it will change the way your day flows!
Focus on Yourself
Now is the time to take care of you. Eat healthy, exercise, implement a bedtime routine. Whether it is a pre-bedtime prayer or meditation practice or applying that night time moisturizer you always forget to apply before bed, now is the time to get it done consistently. Pamper yourself. It’s your day off and you are tired, take a nap. You can take this opportunity to do things to lift yourself up instead of spending all your energy caring for others’ needs and ignoring your own.
Set New Goals
Being single is not a time to sit back and let life pass you by. Discover your purpose. What goals do you want to achieve? What areas of your life do you want to improve or experience growth in? Discover your passion and go after it! Hold yourself responsible. Be productive and dynamic. When we are in a relationship, there are times that it is easy to lose ourselves, to forget what our interests, hobbies, hopes, dreams and passions are. Now that you are single, it is time to untangle yourself from the prior relationships you had and redefine you. Do something every day that brings you a step closer to your goal or to embracing your passion. Discover what motivates and excites you and then work at it. Now is the time to figure out what you really want in life- what excites you and most of all, what makes you happy.
No Room for Excuses
Learn to enjoy yourself. If there is something you want to do, do it. Never feel sorry for yourself and miss the opportunity because you don’t want to go alone. Have fun, meet people, and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Sometimes you can learn a lot by just sitting back and watch people! Don’t let your life pass you by waiting for someone to do all those things on your bucket list with you. If you do that you may miss the opportunity to cross a few things out on your list. Travel, learn a new hobby, go to restaurants and try new foods, go to concerts and shows, take a class, whatever it is that energizes you just go do it! Who knows, you may just make some new like-minded, lifelong friends in the process.
Be With Positive People
A great benefit to being single is the ability to have unlimited amounts of alone time. Definitely make the most of that alone time, but don’t become a hermit! Pack your circle with positive, uplifting people. It may be a combination of family, friends and even acquaintances but keep it positive and uplifting. No one needs a person in their sphere who has a need to remind you of the downside of single life. No conflict, no drama, no complaining. No pity parties, even! Keep it positive, supportive and uplifting. Use this time to build and maintain friendships as well as to make room for new ones
We all get down sometimes and the dating scene can certainly do a number on your ego at times. Carry out a practice of gratitude to help you manage your thoughts and emotions and keep you from being sucked down the emotional rabbit hole on difficult days. When you notice your thoughts are going to the negative, to the poor me, to the self-loathing thoughts, stop yourself! Immediately start reciting mentally all of the amazing things you do have in your life. From big to small, narrate them all. Redeploy your mind on what is good, on the blessings you have in your life. Stay focused on the positive and it will lift your spirits and bring more blessings your way in the process.
How do you show your appreciation?
There are many crucial moments in your life when you should pause and practice gratefulness. Gratitude supports us to see our situation in such a way that can lessen the pain and anger, and open up our thinking to new solutions. Sadly, people aren’t hardwired to be grateful. But like any skill worth having, gratitude requires practice.
Here are reasons to be grateful:
- Gratitude helps put situations into perspective. When we only see the bad in everything, our mental attitude becomes pessimistic. When we choose to look for the good, it becomes more difficult to complain and stay stuck in negativity.
- Gratitude helps us to realize the amazing things we have. We become aware of what blessings have been given to us that we should not take for granted. This helps to lesson our tendency to want more all the time and instead be appreciative of what we already have in life.
- Gratitude makes you happier overall. It improves health, strengthens relationships, reduces stress and in general makes us more positive people. Being grateful affects both your mental and physical health, but also the mental health of the people around you.
There are times I have been asked by people, “How to be you?” I thought they were asking about some beauty secret or stuff like that. But seriously now, the answer to this question is simple: GRATITUDE in spite of it all. No one is perfect, so don’t expect yourself to be grateful a hundred percent all the time. However it’s not something that you can do inertly. You will need to actively reeducate your brain, even your heart- to accentuate the positive.
Here are some ways you can begin to be grateful:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Each day, jot down one or two things you were grateful for and why. A bright note about something that made you smile is all it takes. It will help you notice certain blessings in your life and will also be a great point of reference when you’re feeling flustered.
- Change complaints (minuses) into positives (pluses). When you find yourself complaining about a negative trait, find a way to switch it into something positive. For instance, if you are beaten about heavy traffic, switch it in your mind to “I’m glad I have more time to spend with myself” or “I have more time to jam out to my favorite radio station.” Or “There are people walking and commuting out there in scorching heat and come home very late.”
- Say “thank you” in person. When at all possible, skip the email or text and say thank you to others in person. This will help boost your mood and also improve their day. Face-to-face communication is the strongest way to show your appreciation, but you should try to say thanks as much as you can regardless. For grand gestures, show your gratitude by creating a hand-written thank you note or a special gift.
- Step up in your community. Do volunteer work. Small acts of kindness make a big difference in improving your gratitude. This symbolizes that you respect other people and want to bid your time and services to those who need it. Giving to someone else improves your mood while also making a difference the life of someone else.
- Stop comparing. One of the major drainers of appreciation is comparison. When you keep on comparing yourself to others who you perceive have it better off, you are telling others in your life that they aren’t good enough. Oprah Winfrey once said “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
- Learn from bad situations. Because life is a roller-coaster, you are inevitably going to fall into some negative situations. Life will challenge you in these moments, but it’s how you respond to them that matters. When you find yourself struggling, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation. When you look back, what will you be grateful for in this moment? For example, say you got your heart badly broken. You can be appreciative of those who came to your side and supported you, and for the lessons you have learned from that experience.
When you put in a little effort, you will realize that being grateful is actually not hard to do. Showing others you care about them, and appreciate what they have gone out of their way to do for you, is such a kind gesture. It will only make your life more positive! Don’t take the blessings you have in life for granted. Instead, give back love and thanks.
Don’t Look Back
Remain in the present. What stays in the past should stay in the past! Looking back, floundering in self-doubt, analyzing the ‘coulda’, ‘wouda’, ‘shoulda” will not change anything. It is what it is. Accept it. Move forward then upward from here. One thing that is for sure is that things will change. Your life will not be exactly the way it is today, tomorrow even though it may seem like it at the moment. Do not let the past drag you down. Let go of the past so you can enjoy the present and move forward into an amazing future. The only time to look back is when you are really healed from the pain that started it all.
Whether you are single by choice or seeking a relationship, learning how to be single and happy will improve the quality of your life. It will open you to more experience and opportunities. Happy people love being around other happy people. Happy people are fun and more successful. Implement these hacks to happiness and embrace the life you have today. Single or not one thing that is certain is change, so embrace the life you are living now. Life is too short to be unhappy.
Remember YOU ARE ETERNALLY LOVED BY GOD! HE IS YOUR TRUE AND ETERNAL VALENTINE!
Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all!
*The writer is also the author of “Heartbreakthrough: 8 Steps To Rise Above Heartbreak-The Lord’s Way” published by the Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc. (Claretian Publications) in 2017.