Coping with being alone for the holidays

Many people find themselves alone and without family and friends to share the holidays. This can often lead to feeling sad and depressed but there are ways to alleviate these feelings and have a wonderful holiday.

No matter the reason that you’re alone for the holidays, you can make it a wonderful holiday season. First, make your time alone special. Then, when you’re through with personal time, pick some activities that will surround you with others.

A little time to yourself is often very rare. When you have some, it is something to cherish. Forget about what’s “supposed” to happen and that you’re suppossed to be surrounded by others. Remember that many people are doing what’s expected, and probably running themselves a little ragged. They may actually wish they had some time alone. Once you’ve put aside the weight of expectations, consider how you might treat yourself to some special time.

Get out, go somewhere. Find places that will stimulate and amuse you. Museums, festivals or streets decorated for the holidays might recharge you.
Take on a home project.
Rediscover an old creative talent.
Treat yourself to a personal spa. Spoil yourself with comfort. Read a novel. Take a candlelight bubble bath. Curl up on the couch with hot chocolate, a warm blanket and a movie.
Call or write to family and friends. Just because you’re not with them doesn’t mean you can’t make contact. But plan your calls, so you don’t go broke. And make sure the calls are a nice diversion for the day, not the centerpiece of it. You should enjoy the moments of contact, not dwell on the fact that you’re not with family and friends.

Make plans to be around other people when that alone-time limit comes. There are many activities to do and places to go where you can share the holiday spirit with others.

Return to the real holiday tradition by helping others. When you volunteer, you receive two big rewards. First, you’ll be surrounded by people — by volunteers and staff who share your spirit of giving and by those you are helping. Second, it’s good for the soul. Helping others in need is fulfilling.

Do something with friends. Many people don’t think of it. Most of us have been conditioned to think of holidays as time for family only. We’re not used to thinking of this as a time to gather with friends. If you’re on your own, a few friends might be, too. Get in touch with them, and make some plans. If you’re single, look for a singles organization.

Take advantage of what being alone during this time can bring you: a chance for some quality personal time, and a chance to get out, meet some new people and help those in need.

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