So here we are… the festive season is here. The stores have decorations and displays, Christmas parties are happening, festive movies on telly, and lights are going up on peoples houses and in the streets. It is really is a time of getting together and having a jolly time; but what if you are not in a position to spend it with the one(s) you would rather be with? Though you may be ‘alone’ this year, you can do something to help yourself focus on making yourself “merry” during the holidays.
- If you are lonely, show up where people are. Invite close friends to be with you. Ask a friend to help you donate toys/clothing to various charities. Volunteer to help prepare and serve food at a local soup kitchen.
- Exercise and keep those endorphins pumping (the hormones which make us feel relaxed and happy).
- Choose HEALTHY food. Pick food which will stabilise your blood sugar not send you on a sugar craze.
- Decorate your house or apartment. Do it for YOU.
- If visits from certain people during the holidays in the past have affected you in a negative way, assert yourself. Let them know that “No, but thanks for asking”. You don’t have to make excuses or defend yourself. They may expect you to give an excuse, but you don’t have to.
- Practice gratitude. Be thankful for all the things you DO have and avoid focusing on what you lack. Make a list.
- If you have children or loved ones who come to visit, do your best to create an atmosphere which focuses on “doing” rather than “having”. Plan holiday activities; make your own holiday decorations.
- Read a good book; one which will help you focus on being the best person you can be and help you understand that the only relationship you have total responsibility for is the one you have with yourself.
- Have your “First annual Christmas” feast for other single friends. Make sure everyone gets involved so that you are not doing all the work. Have them bring their favourite dish to share.
- Host an alcohol-free drive to look at the Christmas lights
- Visit a nursing home. Statistics show that many elderly people are often forgotten during the holidays. Your visit will ALWAYS be appreciated.
- Avoid alcohol and party drugs. If you are already feeling down, alcohol depletes the brain of serotonin, a chemical it needs to maintain normal mood.
- Be Santa Clause/Mrs Clause to others this year. Run an ad, rent yourself out, or do it for free. When you bring joy to others, a little of it always stays with the giver.
- Go to the Carols by Candlelight. Sing-a-long. Singing also gets endorphins going.
- Don’t depend on someone else to make your season bright. You alone must do whatever it takes to do that.
Most of all, have fun, create memories; defy tradition, and start your own. As the famous Joseph Newton said “People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges,” so maybe during the festive season, while everyone is full of holiday cheer, it is a good time to knock down some walls or start construction on a few bridges.
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