There was a time when Valentine’s Day was about celebrating fertility and procreation. Sex, basically. Now? It’s about marketing and giving people an excuse for public displays of affection.
Don’t get me wrong. Love should be celebrated. But it should be celebrated daily whether or not we’re in romantic relationships. For those who are not involved with a significant other, we can use Valentine’s Day as a time marker, since it’s pretty common for people to think about the previous Valentine’s Day.
It’s okay to admit we want companionship. At the same time, we need to find peace with the place where we are. Attitude makes a huge difference not only for our own introspection, but also toward those with whom we interact. We need to make sure we take care of ourselves first so that we can be our best for others. That said, here’s a re-post from TheRugged.com.
Hope For The Future: Making a Plan
The beginning of a new year–needless to say–is a great opportunity to join the masses in defining resolutions and starting over, especially for those of us going through break-ups, loneliness or other sad situations. Life as such can be a daily struggle, but there is a way to deal.
Even the most logical thinkers can have difficulty in finding motivation to press forward when their personal relationships are busted. If you find yourself struggling to be positive, there is no better time than now to have a plan and be proactive about it.
Have a plan
Sadness sucks. It can cause us to think irrationally and do stupid things that we later regret. If it’s really bad, sadness can demotivate or lead to detrimental decisions. This is when having a plan can help.
Like a business plan, which can help a company stay focused on its purpose, a personal plan should be a guide. (Especially during rough moments when making a decision is more challenging.) Here’s what you should plan:
- Make time for yourself. Nurture your mind. This is especially important if you come from a dysfunctional family. (You know, having parents, guardians or siblings who either neglected you or physically, verbally, or plain emotionally, beat you down.) Get out of the house and do something you enjoy like attend a live event, get a massage, take a long jog or bike ride. Engage in activities you would do at other times of the year. This time for your mind needs to be distinct, however, from time for your libido. In other words, avoid strip clubs and sex during this time.Why avoid sex? The frontal lobes of our brains are responsible for our ability to reason and for personality, and our temporal lobes account for memories. When we’re sad, the chemicals in the limbic system, located in the middle of our brains, can interfere with the way our brains process thoughts. Likewise, your libido is activated through the limbic system. Though pleasure is nice, it will only distract you from taking care of your mind, a.k.a. your self. So, set aside time to “clear” your head and replenish serotonin levels (the happy brain chemical) so that you can think. If you have sad memories that keep surfacing, then it might be time to confront them. After a funeral, people go through times of grief. This is necessary in order to provide an outlet for sad feelings. If you have sad memories, then grieve. Let it out. Otherwise, they will remain sad memories that get pushed aside by distractions. Then the sadness comes out in other, twisted ways like getting overly reactive about a girl. People let out emotions in different ways, either alone or with a friend, family, or therapist. Whatever way you deal with feelings, aside from avoiding them, do it.
- Make time for people. Anyone who spends too much time by himself gets weird. You know what I’m talking about. We are social animals. Our mental and emotional health depends on our relationships with other people. There are different ways of spending time with others. Obviously, there are friends and family, but there’s also being around strangers and meeting new people. Again, get out of the house. Get off the computer, get some fresh air, and go where there are people. It might be a park, a party, a group of people meeting for a common purpose (aka church), a volunteer opportunity, a bar, a neighbor’s house, or a date. Attend events where you can meet and talk to people. Or don’t talk to people if you really don’t want to. Just get out.
The purpose of having a personal plan is to take care of your needs outside of sex. Sex is often a distractor that keeps us from dealing with what we really need to confront. Anyway, once your mind is able to think more rationally, sex is often better. If you’re single, try having a date without making sex a goal. Really. Just see what happens. You might discover something you haven’t noticed before.
What does it mean to be proactive? If you have a plan to spend time by yourself and spend time with other people, you are halfway through proactivity. Now follow through. The time you spend taking care of your mind is valuable and necessary. Without it, life is more awkward. When we don’t spend time to clear our heads, we allow insecurity to make us pawns of irrational behavior.
Once you become more resolved about life, stay proactive. Don’t give up getting out and being around people, and don’t numb your feelings by avoiding them. Acknowledge your feelings, get in touch with them, and decide to nurture yourself in spite of them. (More on this another time.)
If you’re sad because of your romantic life, then become proactive. Do something about it! Maybe you barely make any effort toward romance, e.g., only take a girl out on a date once every few months, or never. Make a plan to meet one new person every week or ask a girl out every week or something like that. If you’re shy, use the Internet. Who cares if a girl might be lying. Just meet her and find something out about her. Don’t have any expectations except that you’re getting to know someone new. You might get something out of the experience that you couldn’t imagine. Just do it.