Single & Happy...possible?

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and for many people this day is full of stress and despair! 

Are you are single and feel that this day is just yet another slap in the face?!  Tired of turning on the TV and see jewerly commercial after jewerly commercial with a perfectly executed cheesy proposal or reading your friend's facebook updates and seeing picture after picture of flowers delivered to them, or check-ins to their "super romantic vday dinner".  It can be overwhelming, humiliating and downright painful! 

Its easy to try to brush it off your shoulder and say "its just a day" and while some people are able to actually do that for some trying to shake it off is like trying to shake off a swarm of bees when you are covered in honey. 

 So what is one to do?

1. Accept where you are at.

Yup you are single. Sometimes this is intentional and sometimes it is just crappy luck.  We all desire a   partner to share our thoughts/day/leftovers with though in this moment its just not happening.  Your life has not ended, focus on the positives of being single: you control what to watch on tv, you don't have to worry about anothers feelings or their dinner choices: you can focus on YOU.

2. Be Selfish.

So I am going to let you in on a little couple's therapy "secret"....while some couples do need help communicating with each other, especially about stressful subjects (sex, money, kids, etc) MOST couple's problems get better NOT because of learning different magical skills together...nope...they get better when each person actually steps back and figures out where they are coming from, figures out their motivations, their "hang ups", their insecurities...the more secure/healthy each partner is the stronger/more fulfiling the relationship as a whole will be. 

So use this time to become the best person you can!  Use this time to explore your dreams, your passions, your insecurities, how you deal with money/negative people/talking about uncomfortable things.  Do you want kids? What do you want to accomplish before you do? Are you interested in a religion? Or in a religion you might no longer be 100% dedicated to? Do you have any subjects that cause you a lot of stress or anger?

THIS IS YOUR TIME...FOR YOU!  Use this time to become the person you want to be.

3. Create a plan.

The easiest way to do this is get a piece of paper, flip it so it is landscape (so it is longer then it is tall) and at the right edge write create a column down it listing where you would like to be in one year.  Maybe you want to be in school, maybe you want to move to another city,you want to be your own boss, whatever it is write it down! Want to feel secure? Want to be able to stand up for yourself? Be happy? What does that look like for you? Your happiness is going to look different then mine so be descriptive.   How will you know you have reached your goal if you don't know what it actually looks like?

When you have that all done start to work backwards (so work towards the left side of your paper) and make make a line for every 3 months (if my math is right you should have a total of 4 more columns)....and fill those sections in working at 9/6/3 months you should be at least enrolled in school, or have your funding set up.  You have found a hobby you enjoy and are actually doing it, enroll in a money management course to learn how to budget, etc. 

When you get to the left side of the paper this will lead you to today. The day after Valentine's day....

What are you going to do TODAY that will help you get to that place in one year? 

Use this unhappy energy you have to motivate you to CHANGE.  To IMPROVE. To GROW. 

Hang your piece of paper up somewhere you will see it daily.  Mark stuff off as you accomplish it and I bet next Valentines day, romantic partner or not, you will have a different feeling about the day....pride! Security! Happiness!

If you ever get stuck, need some help creating this chart give us a call or email.  Don't lose your motivation.



Do-It-Yourself Happiness

Its Summer!  There is Less Rain! You can now do things outside and absorb some of that amazing Vitamin D and use those natural “healers” to depression and months of perpetual grey.   While some fun things do cost money there are MANY activities in Portland you can do to help turn that frown upside down on the cheap:

  1. Go to a local dog park, even if you don’t have a dog!  Their funny antics, the ability to pet them and enjoy the outdoors can help you lower your stress, get some of the benefits of pet ownership without the cost (or time commitment) of actually having a dog.
  2. Write someone a thank-you note.  This is a low cost way to show your appreciation to a loved one.  It can also help you focus on what you have, instead of what you don’t.  It is an instant positive shift of focus.
  3. Try something new!  It can be ANYTHING.  Check out free classes from some local businesses, from home brewing, cheese making, glass blowing, borrow a friends guitar, etc.  Many times the class is low cost and not only can help you learn a new skill but also help you meet people who share your interests!
  4. Go enjoy some Oregon Strawberries.  If you aren’t local you might not realize that the strawberry season in Oregon only lasts for a month and these delicious, packed with good nutrients, mouthwatering morsels will make anyone smile.  We recommend Hood Strawberries as the very best.
  5. Head to a local park and play some Frisbee Golf!  You only need one frisbee to start and if you take some friends it will help you slow down, de-stress and get some endorphins pumping in your body!
  6. De-clutter your personal space and donate everything you don’t need anymore.  It will help you feel more centered, less distracted and helping others is always a great feeling!
  7. Get your library card and check out a new book.  It is a very low cost way to ‘escape’ your everyday life for a bit even if you don’t have the funds or time for a vacation this summer.
  8. Turn off your computer, your phone, your ipod, etc and just spend a set amount of time without electronics stressing you out.   If you can’t devote a whole day try just doing this for lunch one day a week.
  9. Set some goals and start working towards them.  If you are in hard place right now then working towards something you ultimately want can help you focus on the big picture and not feel “stuck”.
  10. Find your “Summer 2011” song.  Find something that screams summer to you.  The journey to finding this song is part of the fun and also once you find this song it will be helpful this upcoming winter to replay so you can remember that no matter how much rain, grayness, etc, it will end and help bring up all the fun you had!