5 Activities to Help You Love Your Single Life

If you believe the many rom-coms filmed throughout the years, singles are sad, miserable, and lonely people who sit around waiting for someone to come along and “complete them.” Why has this myth been perpetuated to such gargantuan proportions?

Did you know that studies have found that single people usually have more active lives than married people? Single people are far more likely to go out, be involved in their communities and have more friends.

Sure, it can be terrific to spend your time with a loving partner, and yes, a frerquent and satisfying sex life ain’t bad either. But life doesn’t stop just because you’re single. You still exist and the world keeps spinning, so you might as well enjoy your life while waiting for the “right one to come along.”

If you’re new to the single life, fear not, you’re about to have the time of your life! Here are some ways you can love your single life.

Travel

Traveling is a great way to help you gain perspective and learn about yourself. If you’ve never traveled alone, it can be very rewarding. Plus, you don’t have to always compromise with another person. You can go where you want to go when you want to go. There is an incredible sense of freedom.

If you’re a single woman, traveling alone can be intimidating and feel a bit unsafe. There are plenty of traveling groups for women that allow you to be with others some of the time for safety, but also have time by yourself.

Focus on Advancing Your Career

You have more ‘you time’ right now, which makes it the perfect time to go back to school and get that degree that will help you advance your career. Many colleges and universities offer online curriculums to help working adults earn their degree. Night classes may also be a possibility and a chance for you to meet like-minded people on the same path as you.

Volunteer

Did you know studies have found that volunteering is good for our health and happiness? Helping others and ourselves at the same time, that’s a definite win/win. Plus, when you spend time in your community, you are able to meet people from all walks of life and expand your social connections.

Workout

Spend some ‘you time’ getting in the best shape of your life. Try a boxing class or yoga, or maybe take a dance class where you can get a great workout but also meet someone you might like to get to know better.

Reconnect

When we’re in relationships we often spend all our time with our significant other and relationships with friends and family take a back seat. Now is the time to reconnect with loved ones.

Living single is nothing to fear or reject. The single life can be one filled with friends, fun and plenty of fulfillment, so enjoy every second!

Getting Your Inner Spark Back: 5 Tips to Loving Yourself Again

We are born knowing that we are infinitely lovable. Babies and toddlers demand love and attention. They ask to be held, they ask for toys and presents and they feel they deserve them. When we’re very young, we simply somehow just “know” that we are amazing and deserve nothing but goodness.

But then something happens…

We get programmed by kids at school and various media outlets. We hit puberty and our hormones kick in and suddenly instead of being awesome and lovable, we believe we aren’t good enough, smart enough, or good looking enough.

The good news is, you can fall in love with yourself all over again, and here are some ideas to get you started:

Make Time for Yourself

Little kids spend a lot of alone time playing. And during this alone time, they are really connected to their inner world. The “us” in this inner world is the real us, not the us in the business suit or rush-hour traffic or grocery store line. Spend quality time just with you so you can reconnect to the “you” you’ve forgotten.

Say “No” More Often

When we constantly put others’ needs before our own, we tell our subconscious mind over and over that we do not matter. If you are a people pleaser, get into the habit of saying no to others and yes to yourself more often.

Do What You Love

Maybe when you were young you wanted to be a painter or singer or photographer, but an adult “talked some sense into you.” Well there is no reason you can’t explore these passions as a hobby now. Doing what you love is one of the best ways to love yourself more.

Speak Your Truth

When you constantly tell other people what they want to hear instead of telling the truth, you silence yourself. This, in turn, kicks your self-worth to the curb.

Don’t be afraid to always be authentic and truthful. Sure, you’ll sometimes have to find graceful and tactful ways to share your truth with others, but it’s the best way to love yourself.

Get Help

When our self-worth is low or non-existent, attempting to love ourselves can feel impossible. If you suffer from self-esteem issues, speaking with a therapist can help you recognize where these issues came from and how to work through them to truly love yourself.

If you’d like to explore treatment options, please be in touch. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help you get your spark back.

What is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy?

You’ve probably heard of mindfulness meditation, but what exactly is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)? This form of therapy uses mindfulness practices like breathing exercises and meditation to help clients break free of negative thought patterns.

What Can MBCT Treat?

MBCT was first developed to prevent individuals who were struggling with repeating episodes of depression and anxiety from relapsing. Studies have found MBCT to be very effective at helping people with major depressive disorder who have experienced at least 3 instances of depression in their life. This therapy approach may also be helpful in improving the symptoms of depression in those with disease and physical illness, such as cancer and traumatic brain injuries.

How Does Mindfulness Help Depression?

You may think that meditation is something only monks or yoga masters do, but everyday people are reaping the major mind and body benefits through mindfulness meditation. Depressed people suffer rumination, that is they become stuck in mental patterns. They often mistake their rumination for problem-solving, but in reality, rumination prolongs a negative mental state.

Meditation works by disrupting the mental process of rumination. When you focus your mental attention on the present moment, you cannot ruminate. While it’s hard for any person to completely stop the mental process of rumination, it’s our choice whether or not we engage with it. Meditation helps us “just say no.”

How to Find an MBCT Therapist

MBCT is usually held in group sessions once weekly for 2-hours each. The meditations and breath work will be led by your therapist. He or she will not only lead you in these techniques but also the fundamentals of cognition, such as the relationship between your thoughts and how they make you feel. Your therapist will also most likely give you homework to practice the breathing and meditation techniques you’ve learned that week.

An MBCT therapist is a cognitive behavioral therapist who will have had additional training in mindfulness-based practices and techniques and is able to teach these to others. Beyond looking for these specific credentials, you’ll also want to find a therapist you feel comfortable working with. After doing a bit of research for qualified therapists in your area, get on the phone and talk to a few to see who you may like working with the best.

If you or someone you know may be interested in exploring MBCT, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

Are You Married to a Narcissist?

When you met your spouse, did it seem like love at first sight? Was there a familiarity to them and a feeling that you were somehow drawn to them? Soon after you said “I do,” did they begin to change? Were they giving you less attention and making everything about them? Did they show fits of rage or suddenly start giving you the silent treatment?

If any (or most) of this sounds familiar, there’s a very good chance you married a narcissist. Still not sure? Here are some common warning signs:

Unreasonable Expectations

For narcissists, it’s all about THEM. This means your spouse may expect you to meet their needs 24/7 while your own are placed on the back burner. If you find you give and they take ALL of the time, you may be married to a narcissist.

Jealousy

They talk a good game, but narcissists actually have low self-esteem. This also makes it very easy for them to become jealous – VERY jealous. And not just about anyone interested in your romantically, but ANYONE who can take focus off of them, including children, pets and other friends and family members. This jealousy will trigger intense rage.

Projection

Narcissists all have the same power play and that is to project their own behaviors onto others. You see politicians do this all of the time. Your spouse may say that you are needy or have anger issues, and in your head, you are thinking, “Wow, you are so describing YOU right now.” Yes, they are – they are projecting.

No (or Fake) Apologies

Narcissists have no empathy. That is, they truly don’t have the ability to look at something from another person’s perspective. You may be hurting or having a bad day, but your spouse seems completely uninterested. They ARE uninterested.

No empathy also makes it hard for them to take any responsibility for their behaviors and actions. But they have enough awareness to know they should at least make it LOOK as if they care, so they will throw you a hollow apology every so often.

Narcissistic abuse is very real, and if you have been the victim, you most likely feel exhausted and shell-shocked, lacking confidence and self-worth. If you would like to talk to someone about this, please be in touch with me. I would be happy to discuss how I may be able to help you heal from the abuse you’ve endured.

3 Steps to Self-Compassion

“God, you can be so stupid sometimes.”

“Why would he be attracted to YOU?”

“You’re just going to screw this up.”

These are things you would probably never say to another human being unless you’re a real jerk. But how many of us have that inner critic that says these kinds of things all the time.

Most of us treat ourselves far more harshly than we would anyone else. And that’s a shame. In my experience, so much of the depression and anxiety my clients feel stems from a dysfunctional relationship they have with themselves.

But every day is a chance for you to develop a loving relationship with yourself. And the best way to do that is to practice self-compassion.

If that concept seems foreign to you or you are even uncomfortable with the idea of showing yourself compassion, then please keep reading to learn some simple but profound ways you can begin to practice self-compassion as a way to connect lovingly with yourself.

1. Become More Mindful of Your Feelings

Self-compassion is the pathway to emotional healing. But to begin, you must become more aware of your own emotions, especially as they relate to yourself.

Try to be more aware of when you are emotionally struggling with something. Perhaps you are feeling confused, desperate, or inadequate. Ordinarily, in these moments your inner critic may strike. But now, try and offer yourself kindness instead.

You may say something to yourself life, “I know you’re disappointed. And I also know you did your best. And I am so proud of you.”

If you are at a loss for the right words in these moments, simply talk to yourself as you would a friend, or better yet, a small child.

2. Monitor Yourself

Until you become used to being compassionate toward yourself, you’ll want to monitor the language you use. You are most likely so used to criticizing yourself that it will be far too easy for the wrong choice of words to come out. That’s okay. In these moments you certainly don’t want to scold yourself. Just be aware and make a compassionate correction.

3. Get Physical

There’s a phrase that says, “get out of your head and drop into your body.” This is a perfect way to begin the ritual of self-compassion.

Begin to use kind physical gestures with yourself. This could be gently stroking your cheeks and temples when you’re stressed, holding your hand over your heart when you’re sad, or holding your own hand when you feel lonely. Any physical gesture, so long as it’s loving, will help you show yourself true love and kindness in those moments.

For some people who have very low self-esteem, showing themselves compassion may prove to be incredibly difficult. In these cases, it’s a good idea to speak with a therapist who can help them uncover where the feelings stem from and how they can change their thoughts and behavior.

If you are interested in exploring treatment options, please get in touch with me. I would be happy to see how I may be able to help.