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ACA Counseling Corner Blog

We all face daily challenges in today's complicated and demanding world. ACA’s Counseling Corner Blog offers thoughtful ideas, suggestions, and strategies for helping you to live a happier and healthier life.

Columns can be reprinted in full or in part with attribution to the American Counseling Association’s Counseling Corner Blog.

 


Feb 04, 2019

You Don't Have To Be Lonely Just Because You're Alone

This Valentine's Day time of year is when those greeting card companies, florists and candy manufacturers want to convince us that we all have to be in loving, romantic relationships.

But if you happen to be on your own these days, whether by choice or circumstance, it can sometimes leave you feeling a bit blue if that's not your situation.

The first part of the cure for the "nobody loves me" blues is to recognize that the images and propaganda that's helping bring on such feelings aren't really real. The advertising business is founded on, and long experienced at, manipulating our feelings. While advertisers generally aren't trying to make you feel sad because you're not romantically involved, that just may be the result that comes from all the hype and images they promote around now.

The second part of feeling better is to accept that you really aren't alone. You have friends, work associates, and family. While none of them might be a romantic relationship, they still are people who like you, who care about you and who are willing to spend time with you.

You can also feel more positive about not being in a relationship by simply learning to appreciate "you."  Take a look at yourself in the mirror each morning and take the time to tell yourself at least one good thing about yourself. Even better, make it several things. Think about ways you can enjoy your own company.

Maybe now is a good time to take up a new hobby or take on an educational program. Look for things that will make you feel good about yourself. Catch up on some of those things that you've been meaning to do but just never get around to.

The point is to focus on positive things, not sit around sulking because you're alone. Perhaps you want to volunteer with a local organization. Or maybe just call up a friend and go share a movie together.

Being alone is simply a situation you may be in and one you can take actions to change. Feeling lonely is different; it's a state of mind and something you can control. But if being alone is making you feel seriously unhappy to the point of affecting your daily life, consider talking to a counseling professional who can help you move your life in a more positive direction.

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