Not everyone is excited to hear sleigh bells ringing. It’s just a constant reminder they’ll be alone during one of the most family-oriented holidays. Sometimes it’s a divorced mom or dad whose children are spending time with the other parent or a single mom who spends it alone with young children, or even the empty-nesters whose children have decided to do something different for the holiday. And let’s not forget the grandparent whose spouse has already passed away and their children live too far away to visit.
Whatever scenario you’re experiencing, it’s tough to be alone during the holidays. Here are a few tips we think will help you tough it out.
1. Learn to video chat (Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangout, etc.). You can get face time with long-distance friends and family with just a few clicks of the computer.
2. Call and text throughout the day. For some people, a blow-by-blow account of what’s happening at someone else’s house can cheer them up. If that’s you, enlist family or friends to “bother you” all day long.
3. Spend time with a neighbor, someone who is shut in, or a community organization. It’s a great time to get to know your neighbors (don’t forget to take over your famous baked goods), help out an individual who cannot get out on their own, or volunteer at a seniors facility or homeless shelter.
4. Befriend someone who is also alone and invite them to your place. Make (or purchase) them a small, meaningful gift and enjoy holiday goodies or dinner together.
5. Do something just for yourself. If you don’t mind eating alone, treat yourself to a dinner out or order a holiday meal in advance. Take a long nap. Watch that four-hour movie you’ve always wanted to see. Read that book you never had time for.
As you can see, a few of these involve doing something to brighten another person’s day. These simple actions have been known to provide an emotional lift. At the end of the year, when you’re watching the ball drop, make a promise to yourself to plan in advance. Repeat after me: “I will begin my plans for the holidays right now.” Use a pretty journal, the memo feature on your phone or tablet, or maybe you prefer the dry erase board on the wall. Whatever it is, just get started!
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