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Valentine's is coming, where is your boyfriend?

 How to navigate loneliness this Valentine's (Photo: iStock)

With January behind us, we are faced with another mountain. Single during the month of love. Now more than ever, loneliness may hit hard and leave you dizzy as you walk across shops decorated in heart shapes and every radio station blasting love songs you wish you didn't have to bear with.

But you're not the only one. Loneliness is a feeling that affects people of all ages, regardless of their relationship status. But for those who are single, it can be incredibly challenging when surrounded by people who are in relationships. While it is natural to feel left out, it is important to remember that loneliness is a temporary feeling and it can be overcome with the right mindset and approach.

One of the most common triggers of loneliness is comparing yourself to others especially if everyone around you is coupled up. However, it is important to remember that everyone's life is unique and has its own set of challenges and joys. Comparing yourself to others will only lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

And tempting as it may be to withdraw social connection, it is not a good idea. Do not react by pulling away because you feel disconnected from them. Instead, use this moment to cement meaningful friendships. This can be done by participating in birthdays, graduations or whatever activity your friends have going on. Use social gatherings to interact and strike up a conversation with someone new. That will increase your sense of belonging and you never know what may become of that stranger you met at your friend's anniversary dinner.

Instead of mopping, focus on your strengths and accomplishments by setting achievable goals and surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people. When you feel good about yourself you are less likely to feel lonely or isolated even when surrounded by couples.

You also want to engage in new hobbies and interests during this time if you feel you need an escape from all the googly-eyed lovers. This can help you meet with others who share your passions and provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Whether it's cooking, photography, gardening, or any other activity, find something that you enjoy and pursue it with passion.

Finally, it is important to reach out for help when needed. If you are feeling overwhelmed by loneliness, seek the support of a therapist or a counsellor. They can help you to work through your feelings and develop strategies for overcoming loneliness in a setting full of love birds.

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