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As important as relationships are (and they are), they’re not the only way to get the love we all need. By indulging our passions, scheduling fun and enjoyment, making time for friends and important people and practicing regular self-care, you can add more love to your life pronto! But if you’re like many of my single friends and colleagues, you’ll have to do one thing first: make time to have a life.

Our lives need balance, our spirits want to cut loose, our souls need tending and one of the best love we can experience is self-love. By making time for your after-work life, you can get the love and happiness you want.

Here’s how:

Have a hobby

Alexandra Levit, business consultant and author of How’d You Score That Gig? tells us that “hobbies are essential for healthy work and life integration.” Says Levit, “when you have something else important in your world, you will have fresh energy to devote to your career.”

Chances are you have a good idea what type of hobbies you like, but if you don’t, check out inspirations at HobbyHelp or explore this Wikipedia list. The story of how I developed my interior design hobby is a good example of how anyone can find a hobby they love.

My first clue that I love the stuff was in how much HGTV I was watching (back when I had cable). Some days I was re-watching episodes of Love It or List It and Property Brothers and it wasn’t uncommon for HGTV to be on for hours while I was hanging around at home. To try out some of the decorating techniques I was learning, I became a Home Depot regular.  I realized I felt the same intense high walking into Home Depot as I felt walking into Saks!!! Then I was buying tickets to design shows locally and out of town and I was helping others transform their spaces.

As anyone who has can tell you, the secret to finding a hobby you love is to pay attention to what you lose yourself in it. For you, it could be cooking or some type of craft. Even gabbing could be a hobby.

Add people and pets

Our lives are more interesting when we have healthy social outlets. When we’re out there meeting new people, we build confidence and connections. We also gain new perspectives and may even learn about new work opportunities we wouldn’t have if we stayed stuck behind a desk. How does this add more love to your life? Close relationships provide more meaning and support and increase our sense of belonging. That sense of belonging is an important human need and it’s why we crave intimate relationships as much as we do. It’s also why we sometimes stay in bad situations longer than we should.

Pets also add joy and well-being to our lives so add them too.

Make time for fun

If TV is your only source of entertainment, you poor thing, you’re missing out. There is a whole world of entertainment happening around you right now that you may not even know about. Stay in the know with these tips:

  • Subscribe to TimeOut for your city.
  • Sign up for concert alerts to learn when your favorite band is coming to town. Spotify and some music streaming services provide alerts for the artists you follow.
  • Create a “Festival/Vacation” fund to save for big-ticket experiences.
  • Hit up the comedy clubs in your area and get on their list.
  • Check Facebook events once a week.
  • Find the freebies in town. Local museums have free nights and outdoor spaces in large cities have movie nights and other events that are free to the public. Check their websites.

Treat yourself to everyday joys

This collage has some of the everyday “treats” I use as pick-me-ups. They are simple, affordable and easy for me to do.

Mother Moo is a homemade ice cream shop that is a short 10-minute drive from me. Their 1,000+ Yelp fans and I agree that they really know how to make ice cream!! A couple scoops of their corn flakes ice cream makes the kid in me feel comforted and happy. The adult-me loves going to the Design district to browse fancy-schmancy interior design stores. I also have a thing for international fashion magazine, especially French and Italian ones. No, I can’t speak either language, but that’s part of the appeal. Roots 1 by Pressed Juicery is my favorite pressed juice blend at the moment. With lots of crushed ice added and a sprig of mint, I put together a healthy drink that fills me with joy and plenty of nutritious goodness. A session at Just Float is like therapy and giving myself a manicure makes me feel “treated.”

These everyday joys are a step-up from the things you might do on a typical day. They make your life feel elevated and you feel more cared for. If you’re having a bad day at work, just the thought of enjoying something from your list can keep you level-headed.

ASSIGNMENT: Think of at least five things that could elevate your life and spark that kind of joy. Until they become a habit, write them down somewhere on your phone.

Tend your soul

The architect Frank Lloyd Wright said I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. Whether or not you consider yourself spiritual, there’s a part of you that feels a deep connection to something bigger than yourself. Wherever you feel that sense of awe, and whatever helps you disengage from the material world, you want to regularly connect with it. Nurturing that part of you helps you experience a profound type of love and connection to others. It can make you feel happier and less judgmental.

Practice Self-Care

Massages, hair cuts, and spa treatments are in my opinion, necessities masquerading as luxuries. If you can swing it financially, this is another area to regularly do what makes you feel good and cared for. Don’t have the funds for regular massages and reflexology? You can practice these and other self-care during your bedtime routine. Self-care also include non-physical practices like daily affirmations, forgiving yourself quickly, and unplugging at least once a month.

So, yes, having a significant other is important and should be on your to-do list if you want one. But why wait around for someone to give you love when there are so many ways to add it to your life now.

The beauty of living like this, my single friends, is that it opens you up to romantic love in more ways than one. Your heart is perpetually open and you’re out in the world more often where you’re likely to bump into someone.

xo

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