The holidays can be a source of joy and togetherness for scores of people. However, they can also be a source of sadness and anxiety for many others. Some people have estranged families or lost loved ones; others are new to a city, have kids that are unable to make it home, or are recently divorced – leaving them seemingly alone for the holidays. Let’s face it; being home alone on the holidays can be an emotionally tough place to be.
Regardless of your situation, there are plenty of things you can do over the holidays to help you through it. You may not think so now, but being alone is really not as bad as it sounds. Read on and you’ll see what I mean…
Call on Friends
We hesitate to call on friends for the holidays because we don’t want to feel like a burden or interrupt their plans. We often don’t realize how much others love opening up their homes to include friends in their families’ holiday celebrations. Pick up the phone, call a friend and don’t be afraid to ask to be included. Offering to bring a special dish or contribute in some way is always a nice touch.
Staying connected by volunteering at a food bank or shelter will ensure you are around others. You are almost guaranteed to feel better when you realize how blessed you truly are after a day of helping those who might be less fortunate. The inspiration you will gain just might propel you to places you never imagined.
You’re Really NOT Alone
Remember there are others out there that might be in the same position as you this holiday season. Put out the feelers to see who else couldn’t make it home for the holidays, who else lost a loved one, who else is in a new city, who else is recently divorced, etc. Reach out to those people. I guarantee there are others like you out there. Plan and prepare a potluck or a movie marathon with them. Keep your eyes open and ask around; you’d be surprised how many are in the same boat as you.
If you’re not up for a ton of social interaction but just need to see that the land of the living still exists – go out. Go out to eat, see a movie, check out a play, go shopping, visit the museum or head to the dog park. Who knows, you might even meet some new friends on some of these outings!
Get Out of Town
Maybe this is the year to throw traditions aside and do something radical or out of the ordinary like taking a tropical vacation over the holidays. There are plenty of singles groups out there planning little skiing or Vegas getaways. If you have the funds, don’t be afraid to try something new. It could turn into your new favorite holiday tradition.
Maybe you’ve had your fill of people lately. Maybe you’re in no mood for a ton of social stimulation this holiday; that’s ok – there’s nothing wrong with a little R & R. Treat yourself to a day at the spa or create your own spa at home. Nothing says togetherness like pulling yourself together and finding your inner peace again.
The most important thing is to keep your expectations in check. The holidays are filled with various expectations that come from your past, your family, and how we perceive societal norms. These expectations can collide, creating stress and anxiety. Realizing perfect doesn’t exist and that ‘traditional households’ are not the majority in this country can help you manage your expectations more adequately. Once adjusted, you might find the emotionally tough spot of ‘alone’ you thought you were in is not nearly as tough as it seemed.
Research & Community Education