Keeping your spirits bright during the holiday season when you’re single isn’t always easy. Whether you’re going through a recent breakup or have been single “forever”, not having a partner this time of year brings up feelings of loneliness and (possibly) even bitterness.
It doesn’t help either when loved ones ask you questions like, “when are you going to settle down?” or, “why are you still single?” 😡. These questions might trigger you to want the Holiday season to be over yesterday, but take heart… don’t let their expectations make you feel down.
Here’s a Holiday Survival Guide I created to help you navigate the time of year singles dread most and loved ones just looove to use as their soapbox to get you to “settle down”:
#1 – Host Your Own Parties
Instead of following the same old tired traditions, make up your own by hosting a singles gathering. This is an opportunity to bring your single friends together and celebrate the things that matter most to YOU. Not to mention, this is also a great opportunity to get your friends out of THEIR house and help them beat the blues.
#2 – Avoid Holiday RomComs
You may get a kick out of a good romantic comedy, but beware…
While the main characters get to enjoy their cinematically predictable “happily ever after”, you’ll be stuck in an emotional rut after the end credits have passed. Watching RomComs will only remind you how single you are this holiday season, and that could lead to you becoming cynical like that friend on Facebook who’s always complaining about how dating is so hard.
#3 – Don’t Stalk Your Ex (you know, the one that got away)
Do you have an “ex” who you feel got away? Curious to see if they’re as miserable as you are this holiday season? Do yourself a favor and don’t stalk them; not online and definitely not IRL.
As tempting as it may be, snooping and creeping around on your ex’s social media trying to find out what’s going on in their life is the equivalent of sprinkling salt on a fresh wound. The only thing you’ll discover is that they’ve moved on and are living their life without you.
The only thing valuable from the past is the lessons you learned; not the faces you saw. Move on.
#4 – Avoid Eating Or Drinking Your Holidays Away
Be mindful of how much you eat and drink during the holidays. You may not notice it right away, but as long as you’re feeling blue, you might eat and drink more than usual. Remember that binge drinking and eating aren’t healthy coping mechanisms… they are more like addictions that serve as outlets for an unresolved area of your life.
In addition, watch whom you choose to be around. If you have other single friends who eat and drink a lot to cope, avoid hanging out with them. If you can’t “get rid” of your friends for whatever reason, then at least step up and be the leader in suggesting that you all do something else for a change.
They’ll appreciate your voice of reason and they’ll respect you more in the end. Trust me.
#5 – Volunteer & Give Back
One of the best ways to get out of self-pity is to give to others, especially your time (not just money donations). It’s a satisfying experience knowing that you’re helping to enrich someone else’s life. Volunteering gives you perspective about how there are others in much worse situations than you. While you may not have it all (yet), it’s a reminder to be grateful for what you do have.
Get out there and help someone have a brighter day!
#6 – Treat Yourself
Shower yourself with extra love during the holidays. Plan something you enjoy like a mini spa day, go to the museum, or play hooky from work to do something unplanned and unexpected. Remember you spend the most time with yourself, so why not show yourself some love.
Treating yourself fills up your “love bank account”, and will allow you to give love to others (when the time arrives) as opposed to expecting it from a stranger.
#7 – Say Yes To ALL Invites
Since you’re single, take advantage of all the social invites you get during the holidays. The trick is… don’t go with the expectation of meeting someone. Just go with the intention of having a great time with like-minded people.
#8 – Online Date
From now until Valentine’s Day, you’re smack dab in the middle of the busiest time of the year for online dating. Give it a try! You have nothing to lose.
Most dating sites report an increase in member sign ups during this period, and for us here at MG International, we enjoy helping those singles find the right dating sites and get their dating profiles on point.
#9 – Try a New Hobby (or Interest)
Trying out a new hobby is a great way to expose yourself to new environments and new people. Maybe you’ve wanted to take a ballroom dancing class or skiing lessons… whatever it is, go for it! It will activate a new part of your brain while expanding your social network at the same time.
#10 – Anticipate The Questions
We all know that singles hate the questions, “why are you still single?” or, “when are you going to settle down?” Non-single people don’t get it… believe me!
They just don’t get the memo about how annoying these questions are to you. So, instead of feeling awkward when the question comes up, just be ready with prepared answers so they don’t ruin your night. You don’t have to justify or defend yourself, but you do want to politely answer their questions and move on to the next topic.
#11 – Let Go of Expectations
Do you have expectations about where you should be by now? Let go of those expectations and show yourself some compassion. Expectations only serve to set you up for failure because when things don’t go as planned, we start to become very critical of ourselves.
Instead, define the feelings you’re after and actively pursue those feelings. You’ll find a deeper sense of fulfillment when you actively pursue what you want to feel, as opposed to expecting an undefined goal and regretting the lack of results.
#12 – Plan a Getaway
Being single during this time of year gives you the freedom from being in charge of all the details of Christmas parties and dinners. Why not take advantage of that flexibility by planning a cool get-a-way for yourself? You have the option of going solo or making it a group trip! Either way, you’ll come back refreshed and ready to take on the New Year.