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Have you ever felt lonely?   I found it gnawing at me a few years back, like a wayward hunger that ‘would never be satisfied’.   

On the other hand, have you felt loved?   This is a bit like feeling contented after a filling, wholesome meal.

Such contrasting states may vibrate our feelings when certain times of the year roll around – sometimes we may have a mixture of the two, and at other times our life is dominated by one or the other.  We tend to associate loneliness with being deeply uncomfortable whereas feeling loved is warm and pleasant.  It seems some people need to be spending time with other people, and feeling loved, much more than other individuals – they are ‘people people’. I personally find it surprising when someone seems to want to live on their own and rarely wants to see other people.  It’s also the case that some people are excessively uncomfortable when they spend too much of their time in other people’s company. Of course, the truth is we all have differing needs for contact with others; some people become restless when they’re not in the company of friends or family for as little time as half an hour. We tend to think of these people as being extravert and sociable, whereas people like me may need to spend time on their own for some of the day and might be considered to be more introverted. On the other hand, I find myself becoming discontented if I spend long periods without any human contact.

I wonder where you are in all this.  Perhaps you are somebody that needs personal space in your life, as in time to be by yourself, or maybe you are more of a party person who enjoys a lot of stimulation and input from human contact. Some of you may be thinking that most people are a mixture of the two, and that sounds about right to me.

I suppose it’s the case that for us to feel comfortable, whether or not we like a lot of company with other people, or whether we prefer to spend long spells by ourselves, the most important thing is the right balance for each individual. A ‘one size fits all’ approach just won’t do here.   Some of us may be feeling that the time around February 14th is ‘hard to stomach’, particularly if we are lonely or have lost somebody dear to us. It is of course equally true some of us will be happily celebrating February 14th this month. With this in mind, I have included some links at the end of this article to help anyone who is feeling either overwhelmed because they don’t have enough personal space in their life, or who may be feeling lonely and wanting more company.  Ironically, there may be some of you who are feeling a mixture of the two, so the information below can be used flexibly depending on your personal feelings and circumstances.

Feeling lonely?

Feeling overstimulated?

Rachel Honeyford

I work by providing a safe, confidential space where people can bring their feelings and thoughts and work at their own pace. My aim is to be supportive and compassionate while helping people see aspects of their situation they haven't already considered. I aim to adapt my approach to every unique individual's particular wishes, needs and circumstances. For example, I offer the opportunity to work creatively and/or look at past experiences or how someone thinks and feels in 'the here and now'.

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