the holiday season is slowly approaching and many people might be spending the upcoming holidays alone or dealing with the loss of a loved one. we understand how this feels and wanted to share with you some tips on how to deal with the holidays alone or not to feel so alone.
you're not alone.
there are a lot of people who spend the holidays alone. you may be surprised to hear that more than half of all adults have no children and have never been married, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 35% of American households consist of just one person—and 25% of those live alone by choice. maybe you've spent many years in a relationship but decided it was time for something new; maybe you've suffered through an unsuccessful marriage that ended in divorce; maybe your family lives far away from you now, or maybe they passed away when you were younger.
whatever your situation may be, allow yourself to feel sad about being alone this season without letting loneliness consume your whole life (it can). if possible, try making plans with friends or family members who live close enough so you can visit them at least once during this holiday season—even if it's just for dinner one night! if that isn't possible because they live too far away or already have plans set up with other people they care about (which is understandable), consider organizing something special just between the two of us: perhaps setting aside some time each day during which we could talk over drinks while listening to holiday music together? that sounds like fun!
you don't have to be celebrating.
You don't have to be celebrating christmas to enjoy the holiday season. the holidays can be a time of family and love, regardless of whether you're celebrating them for religious reasons or not. You might also feel less lonely if you think about how many people are out there who are celebrating during this time of year—it's not just families and couples! even if you don't celebrate Christmas, it doesn't mean that your life isn't filled with tradition and cheer.
it's okay to be sad or angry.
it's important to remember that it's okay to be sad or angry. if you're sad, it's okay to cry. if you're angry, it's okay to get mad. it's also vital that you feel any other emotion that is coming up for you at this time of year—if the holidays are bringing up feelings of excitement and giddiness, by all means, feel them! and if not, don't judge yourself for feeling exactly as you do; there is no right way or wrong way for our feelings about this season (or any others) to manifest themselves. the most important thing is that we allow ourselves space and permission to feel whatever we need—and never let anyone try to make us feel guilty about how we express our emotions around others during this time of year (or any other).
do whatever makes you happy, guilt-free.
the holidays can be tough, especially if you're alone. you're not celebrating anything, and everyone around you is doing things that make them happy. but it's important to remember that there's no reason to feel guilty about being happy on your own, either. if spending time by yourself makes you happy and makes the holidays enjoyable for you, then go ahead and do it!
think of all the fun things you can do when no one else is home: watch movies; snuggle up with a book (and maybe some wine); listen to music; cook something delicious; decorate your apartment or house—whatever makes you happy!
donate your time and talents.
giving back is a great way to feel connected to the people around you, even if they don't know who you are. several organizations need your help during this time of year:
- volunteer at an animal shelter
- volunteer at a soup kitchen
- volunteer at a food bank or food pantry
- become an advocate for someone less fortunate than yourself (or become an advocate for yourself)
travel to a place that holds special meaning to you, or somewhere completely new.
if you’re looking for a way to spend the holidays, travel is a great option. you can get away from the stress of tradition and spend some time with yourself in an unfamiliar place—a new city, maybe? Or somewhere that holds special meaning for you?
do some online shopping for yourself.
go ahead and buy yourself a gift. You deserve it! a lot of the time, I'll be upset about something that's happened in my life, or worried about money or other things. Buying myself something that I know will make me happy on the holidays is a great stress reliever. here are some suggestions:
- buy yourself what you want! if you want to get a new shirt or book, then do it! even if it’s not Black Friday-esque prices, just buy what makes your heart happy (and try not to go overboard).
- buy yourself the things you need! maybe there's been an item on your wish list for a while but haven't gotten around to buying it because of other expenses—or maybe this is just an excuse to finally get that thing off of your wish list by taking advantage of end-of-year sales online; either way works for me!
- buy yourself a gift card/subscription service for something fun but expensive (like Netflix). this way not only does someone else do all the work when deciding which items should arrive at their home each month/yearly basis, but they also get something cool without having spent any actual money from their pocket...either way sounds like a win-win situation for everyone involved here."
- volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank.
- visit a nursing home.
- head to a children's hospital.
- read to the blind or elderly.
- mentor an elementary school student in your neighborhood, if you're into that kind of thing.
- help people affected by natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, floods, earthquakes) as long as it doesn't put your safety at risk
start a new holiday tradition for yourself and your family members who are with you
if you're feeling a little lonely this holiday season, try creating some new traditions for yourself and your family members who are with you. it can be difficult to come up with new ideas during the holidays because they are supposed to be so full of familiar traditions, but if you don't want to just spend Christmas watching Netflix or eating takeout every night, you must try something new.
if anyone in your family has ever said "I wish we had an excuse to do something fun on Christmas," then this is the perfect opportunity! make sure that whatever tradition you decide on is affordable and easy for everyone involved. if it's too much work or costs too much money then no one will want to participate next year either! you don't have time for those kinds of headaches during these busy days!
throw an old-fashioned dinner party—with friends who might also be alone for the holidays this year.
you could also try throwing an old-fashioned dinner party. it’s fun to invite friends over, whip up something delicious and watch everyone enjoy it together. and if you are feeling extra festive, why not throw in some traditions? for example:
- have everyone bring a dish they are good at making
- make it a potluck
- ask each guest to bring something they’re good at making (and chances are that they will be happy to comply)
if you spend the holidays alone, you have many options for celebrating in interesting ways.
if you're alone during the holidays, here are some ways to celebrate without feeling too much pressure:
- you don't have to be celebrating. you can do whatever makes you happy, guilt-free!
- do some online shopping for yourself. it's a great way to give yourself something fun and new.
- volunteer! there are lots of places that need extra hands during the holidays—and if volunteering isn't your thing, then try doing something else that helps others instead (like donating food or clothing).
- start a new holiday tradition for yourself and your family members who are with you. even if it's not an official holiday season tradition yet, it will become one soon enough!
it can be tough to spend the holidays alone, but you don’t have to do it alone! you can get through this time by focusing on yourself and what makes you happy, which is a much better option than going through the motions with someone else who doesn’t make you feel good anyway.
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