The holiday season can be a time of immense joy, timeless traditions and festive get togethers. Being single during the “most wonderful time of the year” can also be a time of loneliness and stress for many people. Whether newly single, navigating a divorce or wanting to meet your perfect match, shifting your mindset can help ease some of the pressures of the holiday season.
Your single status doesn’t have to define how much you enjoy the upcoming season. In fact, by implementing some of these strategies, you might find your own magic in celebrating exactly the way you’d like…instead of struggling to meet the demands of someone else’s expectations. Here are a few ideas to brighten your single life spirits this holiday season.
Make Specific Plans
While it’s important to honor your feelings, isolating yourself can lead to increased feelings of loneliness. If you love taking in holiday lights and used to attend The Nutcracker every year as a kid — invite your friends, pick a date and book the tickets. Having a plan in advance gives everyone something to look forward to, honors your tradition and guarantees time with friends you genuinely want to spend time with.
Invite a Friend
There’s no rule book stating your “plus one” has to be a romantic partner. If you’re worried about showing up solo or tired of being the extra wheel in groups you know will likely be couples, ask a friend or coworker to go with you. Chances are when you get to the event, people will be mingling about, happy to talk with a variety of people instead of paying attention to whether or not you’re single. If the host didn’t give the option of bringing a date because they’re aware of your relationship status (and didn’t want you to feel pressured to have a date), politely advocate for yourself by asking if it’s okay to bring a guest. The more the merrier is the best policy this time of year and surely you deserve to invite a friend if it makes the night more enjoyable for you.
Give Yourself a Gift…Not Strictly Material
While highly encouraged (and recommended!) if it’s in your budget, we’re not just suggesting the kind that comes from the store. Allowing yourself to fully feel all of your emotions is the best way to process them. From commercials to holiday movies, the message of family and togetherness is over emphasized this time of year. If you’re feeling jealous of your newly engaged friend or your sister’s annual candy cane pajama-clad family holiday photo, allow yourself to feel this way without judgment. Are you sincerely happy for them? Of course! Does it sting a little to hear about the perfect proposal and open the holiday card mail? Also, yes. Take some time for you. Journal, call a friend or book an appointment with your therapist or favorite spa and lean into what comes up for you. Limiting social media if you’re feeling low can also help minimize the emotions that might bubble up seeing couples in your feed. (A good reminder any time of year…this is usually a highlight reel!). The best gift you can give yourself this season is doing the things that light you up, slowing down when you need to and celebrating what makes you feel most at peace.
Wishing you a blessed holiday season.