I have spent many holidays single.
I put a ton of pressure on the holidays because it seemed that all around me people were in beautiful relationships, being showered with love. Everyone except for me.
All of those Hallmark cards, flower bouquets in the grocery store, and little chocolate hearts shower us with messages of what our relationships should look like. And should is one of the most unacceptable words in the English language. It has the power to basically sap the joy right out of your life!
Now that I am married, I wish I hadn’t spent so many years pining over what I didn’t have and started appreciating the life in front of me. Because it’s not just about the holidays, it’s about celebrating and tapping into the love available to you every day of the year.
So don’t fret, here are 5 ways to help you have the most love-drenched, satisfying month ever.
1. Pamper yourself in self-love.
Choose to make the holidays less about romantic love and more about the love of self. Because let me tell you, nothing in my life started working until I fully, passionately embraced self-love.
Realize that you are beautiful, right now, exactly as you are. That you have gifts that only you can bring to this world. That you deserve love.
Sure, I know that going out to eat by yourself is different than going on a date, but is that any less reason to do it?
If the idea of this makes you uncomfortable, then all the more reason to go for it! So today, ask yourself how you could benefit from greater self-love. Start by writing a list of all the qualities that you love about yourself. Write at least 10, and then write 10 more. Here’s a list with some ideas to get started. I talk more about self-love in my free guide here.
2. Have a great time with friends.
Just because you’re single is no reason to stay at home alone. If you’re feeling a bit low because you’re not in a relationship, the worst thing you can do is seclude yourself and wallow in those feelings. That will just leave you feeling more disconnected.
Get out there and have some fun! Some of my absolute favorite holidays were spent with a group of girlfriends going out for dinner and drinks. We got dressed to the nines and treated the night as an adventure and a celebration of one another.
3. Know exactly how you want to feel.
I talk about desired feelings a lot because this is a life-changing concept. If you want to be in a relationship but you’re not currently feeling any of the feelings that you’d like to have when in a relationship, you are blocking yourself from finding great love.
The holidays is the perfect time to get very, very clear on the way you desire to feel.
Is it to feel cherished? Nurtured? Feminine?
Here’s the key: create those feelings for yourself right now. And what better day to do it? So take your power back and buy yourself flowers, cook yourself dinner, light some candles, put on soft music and get into a hot bath. Feel your heart open as you allow yourself to get lost in love by taking in the scents, tastes and sounds that surround you. Practice connecting to feelings and joy will begin to flood your heart.
4. Revel in your singleness.
The grass is always greener on the other side. I spent most of my 20s wishing I weren’t single and longing for a relationship. Now, I see women in their 30s and 40s talking about how much they miss the freedom they had when they were single.
I recently got married and am grateful to embark on this new chapter of my life. But I wouldn’t trade those years when I was single for anything.
If you desire to be in a great relationship, you absolutely will be. There is divine timing for everything. And when you are, there will be parts of the life you have now you’ll inevitably miss.
This moment is temporary.
See the richness that this current phase of your life has to offer and revel in every minute of it, knowing that the next stage will be here soon enough.
Some things that are awesome about being single include getting to live with girlfriends and try on everything in their closet; the excitement that comes from a first date that went really, really well;, being able to move to a new city on a whim, or going to bed whenever you feel like it.
5. Celebrate love itself.
Love doesn’t just consist of romantic love. There is love all around us, all the time. When we tune into our love network and soak in all that warmth, we’re more likely to attract romantic love as well. Here is one of my favorite quotes:
“General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” – Hugh Grant from Love Actually
I invite you to tap back into that part of yourself this year. The part of yourself that knows what a joy it is to accept and give love in return. To anyone. Here are 8 signs that you’ve developed greater self-love and awareness.
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
How can I celebrate love itself?
Who are those people in my life who make up my love network?
Where am I not being as accepting of love in my life as I could be?
How can I be more giving of myself to those I love? Who could I show appreciation for today? In what way?
Remember that love is always available to you, no matter who you are or what current phase of life you’re in. Love exists in your heart. When you nurture that relationship and actively connect to that love, you’ll experience it in a more profound way than you could have ever anticipated.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear about your experience of the holidays, and how you might be able to invite more self-love into them.
A version of this post was previously published on huffpost.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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