Monday, February 5, 2018

Alone on Valentine's Day?

An empty nest can leave many of us with feelings just as empty as our nests. I've heard from moms and dads who feel useless, unloved, confused, unmotivated, depressed, and empty in their every day lives so you can imagine how these feelings tend to intensify when a holiday approaches. Many of us turn to friends or relatives who are dealing with an empty nest especially during the initial adjustment period because let's face it there is an initial adjustment period whether you're enjoying your empty nest or not. Change brings adjustment which can be easier for some than for others. I've heard from quite a few moms who say having a loving, supportive significant other has helped them tremendously but what about those of us who find ourselves for one reason or another lacking in the loving, supportive SO area? And Y'all, the numbers are higher than I thought. All this brings me to the upcoming love event known as Valentine's Day.

Let's say you're a 50-something empty nester who is suddenly facing separation or divorce or who simply finds their relationship completely lacking and feel Valentine's Day is going to intensify any feelings you have of loneliness, fear, confusion, etc. How would you deal with facing this particular holiday? If you're like me it won't be that big a deal because holidays such as Valentine's Day are those I celebrated for the kids not because I put any stock in the 'special' day. I am truly one of those people who resent being shown love on one day of the year. If you're not showing it daily, how in the world can it count on one day?

I realize I am probably in the minority here so I started thinking of ways our middle-aged, empty nest, single or just feeling alone friends who enjoy Valentine's Day could continue to enjoy Valentine's Day.

12 Ways to Enjoy Valentine's Day All by Yourself:

  1. Binge watch your favorite Netflix or Hulu series. If you enjoy series binging then this is perfect for you as it will be fun and keep your mind on other things. Sometimes all we really need is a good distraction and before we know the moment or day has passed. Oh and, feel free to include indulging in your favorite snacks/desserts. 
  2. Get busy. Tackle a project you've been putting off. Immerse yourself in that neglected project instead of dwelling on any negative, nonproductive thoughts. Clean that closet. Get a pile ready for donation. Organize those kitchen cabinets. Tackle the cabinet under the bathroom sink. Blare your favorite playlist and sing while you work instead of listening to that nasty little voice in your head who tries to keep you down.  
  3. Gather with girls or guys ok, friends. Surely we all know others out there who are in our same feelings boat. If you realize all your friends are romantic movie involved with their SOs, do something with them during the day when they do not have relationship plans. 
  4. Enjoy nature. Take yourself out, find a nature trail, take your pet if you have one, and just enjoy and appreciate nature. 
  5. Love on your pet. Spend the day with your pet who loves you every single day, unconditionally. Don't have a pet but wish you did? What better day to get out to your local shelter or pet helper and adopt one?!
  6. Read. Cozy up with that book you've been wanting to read. What better day to read that book than one where no one is going to interrupt you? Dive in! Have a chocolate or two and a glass of wine while you read. OR go to the library and spend a few hours there browsing and reading. I've met some of the most interesting people in the library. 
  7. Treat yourself to--anything. Think of something you've been wanting to do and do it. Want a meal out? Go for it. Want to cook yourself something special? Do it. Need a spa day? Today's the day. Dying to see that new movie? Go forth, friend. If you're like me and do not enjoy being out in public or don't enjoy doing things by yourself, order in, cook for yourself, invite a friend, watch a movie on Netflix...Y'all get the idea. 
  8. Get out and volunteer. Go read at a nursing home or just visit with someone who has no one. Is it a school day? Are you involved with a school now or in the past? Go read to a kindergarten class or volunteer to help in the office or take a class out to recess. Go to the hospital and volunteer to hold at risk babies. Serve at your local soup kitchen. Visit the local orphanage. Nothing helps us put things in perspective than helping others. 
  9. Write it out. If you don't have a journal of some sort, this might be just the day to start one. Go buy yourself something you'd like to write in and some of your favorite pens and write it all out. Get out that frustration and that fear and the confusion. No one has to read it but you so let it flow. 
  10. Attend a local function. Is there a college campus nearby offering a concert or lecture? I know a lot of you think this is crazy but lectures are intellectually stimulating and you might actually meet some interesting folks while there. 
  11. The grandkids. Spend the day with them! It was all about the kids in this house when a holiday rolled around so having grandkids means that tradition will keep going.
  12. Shopping! I have to admit this is something that brightens my day any day. Of course, I prefer online shopping but this might be just the day to get out there and peruse thrift stores or antique shops. You don't have to spend money. Sometimes just getting out and looking around is helpful not to mention thrift shops are great for inspiring your inner crafter. 
There are so many ways to enjoy Valentine's Day all by yourself while keeping your mind away from negative thoughts. If you start something and find those thoughts creeping in and you can't control them, try a different activity. The main thing is to keep it positive and moving forward. 

What would Y'all add to the list? 




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8 comments:

  1. These are really awesome ideas Pam.

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  2. You have listed some great ideas, Pam. So many that I can't think of one to add. Thanks for this thoughtful post!!

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    1. Thank you! I hope it helps someone out there who is alone and needs something to do. :)

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  3. You have such fun ideas. I never even think about it, but I am sure there are people who get very lonely.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you think so. I've heard from many empty nest moms and a few dads how difficult a time they're having. I feel bad for them so I try to uplift when I can.

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  4. We don't actually celebrate Valentine's Day but I think it is lovely to be kind to yourself and show yourself some love. Thanks for sharing at #BloggingGrandmohtersLinkParty and have a great day!

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    1. We don't either but I do hope those who put stock in it but are alone can find some love in this post. :) Thanks!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

 
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