5 Self-Care Tips For When You're Single During Cuffing Season & Feeling Lonely

If you're currently single and feel like you're seeing everyone around you pair up, you're definitely not imagining it. Cuffing season is the time of year where people are coupling up and settling in for dates, movie nights, and posting cute AF Instagram photos that don't make you jealous at all! (OK, maybe I am a little jealous.) Because of all of this, it can be important to practice extra self-care when you're single during cuffing season. And there's plenty you can do according to Nina Rubin, M.A. and life coach.

If you're not totally content being single during cuffing season this year, she explains, your mind can magnify your radar for other couples doing cute and happy things. The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to taking care of yourself this season is to do things that you enjoy and that make you happy. Make intentional time to do things for people you're grateful for. By doing these things, you can derive joy from parts of your life that don't necessarily relate to being single.

I am also single this year, and it can be tough to be one of the only single people at holiday gatherings! But trust that you're not the only one that us single right now. Cuffing season lasts until the day before Valentine's Day. This means that there's still time to meet a special someone if that's what you want. In the meantime, check out the following tips from Rubin on how to take care of yourself this cuffing season.

Take the time to plan ahead.

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Rubin recommends that you stay busy during times you are particularly prone to feeling vulnerable. First of all, it's OK to be bummed about not having a partner, and it's OK to have alone time to feel your feelings. The goal here is to not only validate your feelings but possibly minimize situations that can make you feel worse.

For example, take a few extra minutes today to text friends about making plans for the following week. This is so that you don't consistently find yourself trying to make plans at the last minute. When I try to do that, usually people respond that they have a date with their partner and I start to feel sad that I don't have a partner to do something with. By making plans in advance, you will have something to look forward to and avoid feeling lonely.

Keep up with things you usually enjoy.

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Rubin recommends that you keep up with your hobbies and activities that make you happy. Sometimes, advice for single folks recommends that you try new things and get out of your comfort zone. This can be fun, but it can also put a lot of pressure on yourself to have an amazing time and be outgoing. For instance, heading to a holiday speed dating event or single's karaoke may not necessarily make you feel better if you're doing them because you feel like you should.

Rubin recommends that you keep up with your hobbies, especially the activities that help you stay active. That's because the American Psychological Association recommends exercise as a way to improve your mood. That being said, there's no need to try an aerial ballet or a hot yoga class if you're not into that sort of activity! Stick with your old faithful's that you know make you feel content. Rubin encourages this because sometimes when we're down about life, we can stop doing things that we regularly enjoy. If you think your motivation to keep up with your hobbies might falter, consider inviting a friend to go with you!

Remember the grass isn't always greener.

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"Just because lots of other people are coupled, doesn’t mean they’re happy!" Rubin says. When it comes to feeling sad about being single during cuffing season, there's something to be said about the old "grass is always greener on the other side" outlook. "The holiday season can be difficult for many people, even the ones in couples, "she says. "Remember to breathe and remind yourself that you’re loved by many." This is a great reminder for this season. The holidays are hella emotional, and being single can magnify the feeling. However, plenty of others can find this time difficult as well, and it can have nothing to do with having a partner or not.

Consider the benefits.

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"Keep in mind that you have full independence and freedom this cuffing season," explains Rubin. When you're single, you have the opportunity to make all of your holiday decisions on your own. You can get yourself a nice gift, put effort into making holiday cards for people you care about, and you can spend all of your time at the holiday events that you want to go to. When you're in a couple there's a lot of dual planning that happens, and being single can be a chance to really put yourself first.

Remember why you're single.

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Another way to care for yourself, according to Rubin, is to focus on the positives and your goals. Feeling a mixture of happiness and loneliness while single is much better than feeling trapped in a bad relationship. Remind yourself that you're single for a reason this cuffing season. Jumping into something simply to have a partner doesn't bode well compared to taking intentional time to be single. There are so many potential partners out there for you and, by taking the time to be on your own, you're setting yourself up for healthier future relationships.

If you're single this cuffing season and feeling a little lonely about it — I am with you. It can be hard! But I find that it is far more beneficial for you than being in a relationship that isn't the right fit. Take yourself on a date this cuffing season to remind yourself that you are your own best sidekick.