6 tips to make through the next holiday you face alone. Don’t just suffer through the next holiday alone, it can be a happy experience for you.
The fact is spending holidays alone is never easy. For some of us, it is a reality. If you are a single parent, then it can happen more often than you would like.
And while nothing will suddenly make the holidays as warm and cozy as having your kids or family with you, practicing some of these tips may ease the dread of the isolation.
Tips for Spending Holidays Alone
Tune out advertising.
Tune out advertising as much as possible leading up to the holidays. From Halloween until the end of the year.
One reason I don’t have cable is because of the commercials. This comes in handy around this time of the year. I don’t have to watch all the sickening sweet family Thanksgiving commercials. My Thanksgivings are nothing like that. Advertising works off your emotions. Refuse to give them any of yours. Turn it off.
This includes social media. Scrolling through everyone’s #blessed may not the most helpful thing you can do right now. Log off.
Spend your time planning.
Create an upcoming event to look forward and spend your time planning.
If due to custody arrangements you find yourself without your kids on the actual holiday, make plans to celebrate after, not before. This way on the actual holiday you can be busy planning. This is the whole reason I celebrate my kids’ birthdays big, so I can busy myself for whole weekends.
Each time you feel the dread of spending the upcoming day by yourself, shift your focus to a plan for the day instead.
I like to create coupons for my kids and prepare Activities of the Month for their gifts. Planning and preparing these gifts is not only exciting for them but allows me preparation and planning time too.
Indulge Yourself a Little
When is the last time you took some time just for you? If you’re a single parent then it’s probably been a long time.
- Watch your favorite guilty pleasure. Netflix offers plenty.
- Take a long bubble bath.
- Go on a nature walk with your dog.
- Cozy up on the couch and read all day.
- Take a nap.
- Listen to music and journal.
- Cook yourself healthy meals for the week.
- Meet a friend for coffee.
Get out of town.
It won’t feel so weird doing an activity solo if you are a tourist. Try becoming a tourist in your own town if you’re short on cash. Simply look up free activities. Or check out one state or town away. Sometimes this feels more acceptable to do the activity alone.
If you really want to get out of town there are solo traveling experiences you can participate in.
Get out of the house.
If you feel the blues coming on, then get out of the house. Go to a crowded area and let other excitement of the season pass on to you. Go watch the local Christmas tree lighting or get lost in a shopping crowd and buy some hot chocolate. Smile at others and drop some change in the Salvation Army bucket.
Stop waiting for your life to be different and live it now. Is there a movie you want to see? Go to movies. Once the lights dim, no one even knows you are by yourself. Is there a traveling holiday show in town? Go!
Get out of your own head!
Sometimes what we need most is to stop overanalyzing everything and feeling so down on life. Focusing on others who are hurting (most likely more than us) is a great way to do this.
Look for a volunteer opportunity near you. Delivering meals is a great place to start. Alternatively, one year, I adopted a family for Christmas through The United Way. I spent my Thanksgiving evening organizing who would buy what for the recipients and then Christmas shopping online.
Or find a person that needs their chin lifted this Christmas season and surprise them 12 days of gifts. This will keep you busy with planning and dropping 12 gifts off for 12 days anonymously. Plus, the recipient will be blessed. Win-win.