If you haven’t noticed, Fall is finally upon us and we are beginning to enter into the colder months of the year. During this time of year it is quite common to see people coupling up. Colder months equals people trying to get warm, physically and emotionally. Every year we are bombarded with messages through the media that implies that this is the time of year to spend with your partner in contrast to the summer months where being single is celebrated. This phenomenon is often referred to as “Cuffing Season”, a time of year in which people have the desire to be “cuffed” or “tied down” in a serious relationship.
*Use of the words “cuffed” or “tied down” in this context is problematic not only due to the aggressive undertones but also because it is suggestive of a lack of freedom and or loss of control…We’ll save that for another post.
SO what does this mean if you are not in a relationship?
The emphasis that is placed on intimate relationships during this time of year can often translate into loneliness for those that are not in relationships. For singles during this time of year numerous uncomfortable situations are bound to arise. Such as how to deal with plus one’s for holiday parties and nosey family members prodding into your love life when you finally get the gall to even go to the holiday party and not to mention sitting through romantic movies where there is always a character that’s trying to make it home to their loved ones before Christmas. Instead of letting these scenarios or “cuffing season” get you down, there is no better time to cultivate self-love and warm your own soul during these colder months. Here are some tips:
Engage in self-reflection: Whether you just got out of a relationship or have been single for a while, now is a good time to reflect upon your feelings towards relationships. Think about what motivates you to want to be in a relationship as well as what keeps you from being in one.
Learn how to self soothe: Enjoy a hot cup of tea or cocoa. Let your thoughts run wild in a new journal. Take a mindful walk. Discover a new relaxing scent.
Do things you love: Get lost in that novel you’ve been meaning to read, Take a chance on a new recipe. Start a new project…who doesn’t love Pinterest? Get out of your comfort zone and try a winter sport…ice-skating is sort of like roller skating right?
Being “cuffed” to yourself not only cultivates a deeper relationship with yourself but can also be satisfying and increase self-awareness, self-efficacy and confidence. How you choose to spend your time during the colder months is completely up to you, so choose wisely.
Kena Watson is a recent graduate of North Carolina Central University’s Master of Psychology program with a passion for promoting healthy body image and self-esteem in women. Kena’s main line of research interest includes the discourse surrounding the relationship between media consumption, beauty ideals and acculturation among African American women. With a background in mental health Kena also enjoys working with students on issues such as anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders. While working in Student Wellness Kena serves as a BASICS facilitator; a program geared at providing a harm reduction approach to alcohol consumption among college students. She enjoys cooking, natural hair care, and yoga during her free time.