February 12, 2022

Single For Valentine's Day

 Hello Everyone,

I hope you are doing well.  This month's post is going to be a quick one: what to do on Valentine's Day if you are single.  For many people Valentine's Day is a loving and happy experience.  For many others, however, Valentine's Day can be a painful reminder of being single or alone and not being in a romantic relationship.  Many people experience this loneliness and emotional isolation, however it is much more prevalent amongst certain populations such as those with developmental diagnoses.  Quite often aspects of the diagnosis(es) (and their effects on social flourishing), whether difficulty processing social cues, crippling social anxiety, depression related to these challenges, and so on result in social isolation.  Here are some ideas to (hopefully) help you take control of some of that loneliness that comes up each time this year as well as focus on your own emotional self-care.

Write a letter or card: This can be a great time to write someone you care about (or know) a letter simply saying "hello".  It does not need to be a Valentine card just because it's Valentine's Day.  You don't need a Hallmark Holiday to have a reason to write to someone.  Writing also takes more effort than texting or email; this is important because the extra effort signifies that you genuinely care about that person.

Schedule a meet-up: Depending on your stance regarding COVID-19, this can be a great time to get together with friends or family to simply hangout.  Create your own social tradition if you feel like it.

Schedule an on-line meet-up: If you're not comfortable getting together with people right now, try a meet-up online.

Re-connect with people: The pandemic has really taken its toll on relationships, adding another layer of stress and yuck to already stressful lives.  Communication has fallen apart.  Think of someone you know that you haven't talked to in a long time and contact them to say hello.

Create your own care package: Find things that make you feel good, such as a book, some special food or candy, or anything else that puts you in a good mood and put them into a box that you can have available.

Do something you enjoy doing: Whether alone or with someone else do something you enjoy that you may not get to do too often.  Go to a movie or get take-out, or simply get out of your home.

Tell the people in your life you love them: This is important.  Often times we can get caught up in thinking about the relationships we don't have instead of the ones we do.  The relationships we have are critical so grow them by letting those people know how important they are to you.

TAKE ACTION: Now may be the time to get serious about dating and finding a romantic relationship.  Working with someone you trust, now may be the time to create an on-line dating profile, talk to a relationship specialist, explore new hobbies to meet people, find out where people like you socialize, and so on.

These are just a few ideas.  What ideas can you come up with?  Good luck and take care!!!  

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