Surviving the Holidays Alone
The holidays are not always a happy time for everyone and for some, they can be quite sad and lonely. Whether it’s due to losing a loved one, loss of a job, or being single after a long relationship, just surviving through New Year’s is a lofty goal that may seem hard to achieve amongst all of the happy hubbub of the holiday season.
The trick is to keep yourself busy and avoid ruminating about how you wish things could be. This will likely cause depression that may not leave after the holidays. Instead, focus on things you can do to stay occupied and have fun, even though it may be unexpected. Here’s how:
Whether or not to decorate is a personal choice that may relate back to childhood. You don’t have to take the all or nothing approach. You can choose to keep it simple and perhaps put up a small, tabletop Christmas tree with sparse decorations or maybe just a wreath on the door. This way, you’re not completely going all out but you're not denying the season either.
Depending on where you live, activities may be limited in cold-weather climates. You also may not feel like going out alone. The best advice is get out anyway, even if it’s a short drive out to look at Christmas lights. Or, check social events in the newspaper for ideas or something to do. Even if it’s not a holiday related activity, just getting into a different environment does the mind good.
Volunteering has benefits besides just getting out of your house or apartment. It’s a great way to meet people and is very rewarding. There are several places you can volunteer your services. Soup kitchens, churches, senior centers, and nursing homes always welcome extra help or talents. Look online, at bulletin boards, in newspapers, or ask a place that you’re interested in if they need volunteers.
If it’s true that misery loves company, you may find comfort with someone who is also alone for the holidays. Plan a night out or a movie night in with a friend, co-worker, or neighbor who shares similar circumstances.
Do you have a to-do list? If not, make one and get busy tackling miscellaneous things you’ve thought about doing but just haven’t got around to. Clean your carpet, mend clothing, organize your kitchen, or work overtime. Not that ambitious? Catch up on your e-mail and phone calls. Relationships require maintenance too and keeping in touch will surely give them a boost.
That’s right. Pamper yourself and don’t feel a bit guilty about it. Get a massage, haircut, manicure and pedicure; whatever you want. It’s amazing how your attitude changes when you look good and feel better. After that, buy yourself a Christmas gift and spend time learning how to use it.
Take a Vacation
It may seem extreme but taking a vacation is exactly what some singles do to get away from it all. Not only that, it’s their tradition to survive the holidays. If you’re interested, research locations and book early. You’ll be surprised at how many people choose to do the unexpected.