The holidays usually signify a time of family, friends, and togetherness. Society paints a picture of what the holidays “should” look like, and if our experiences don’t match those expectations, we can find ourselves feeling down and lonely this time of year. Whether you’re spending the holidays alone by choice or by circumstance, here are some tips to make the most of your holiday.
Acknowledge your feelings - Spending the holidays alone can bring on a lot of different emotions, including loneliness, sadness, frustration, even happiness and peace. Allow yourself to experience whatever emotion you are feeling without judgment or regret.
Revisit old traditions - Think back to your lifelong memories and traditions that hold an important place in your heart. Pick and choose which traditions you would like to continue.
Create new traditions - Consider incorporating a new tradition that YOU would like. It may be something traditional or unconventional.
Volunteer - Whether it’s sponsoring a family, serving hot meals to the homeless, or visiting a nursing home, volunteering is a great way to feel connected and fulfilled.
Movie marathon - Spend hours relaxing while watching your favorite holiday movies.
Enjoy a hobby - Either spend time on a hobby you love or take on a new hobby. Bake cookies, read a book, go for a walk, work on a puzzle. The sky's the limit!
Gratitude list - Instead of focusing on who you cannot be with this holiday, think about all you have to be grateful for. Create a list of people, places, and things you are grateful for this year.
Seek connection - Connect with loved ones through phone calls, Zoom, Facetime, etc. Put yourself out there by dropping off cookies to neighbors, volunteering, or attending a local event.
Mindfulness - Take advantage of the quiet time and practice mindfulness. Envision a peaceful snowfall, focus on experiencing all five senses, practice deep breathing, or practice meditation.
Ultimately, take time to spend the holidays however YOU want. Set your own expectations and create your own rules for this holiday season!