Whether you’ve been single for years or you’re newly single, the holidays can create a bit of anxiety and even some depression in a lot of us. Although this is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”, many of us may be feeling it’s the worst. The holidays mean lots of pictures of ridiculously happy families and seemingly perfect couples. So, what’s a girl to do when it’s the holidays and she’s got no one to meet underneath the mistletoe? Here are a few tips for thriving through the holidays no matter how long it’s been since you’ve become a party of one.
- Recognize that everything isn’t as it seems. You may see them looking “picture perfect” on social media, but that does not mean their life matches the pictures. Remember that people tend to post only the highlights of their lives, and just as they have good moments, they also have bad ones that you don’t know about. The grass ISN’T greener on the other side. Your life ISN’T all bad simply because you are single.
- It’s perfectly okay to feel sad or disappointed that you’re alone during the holidays, even if this isn’t the first time. Let no one tell you that you should just “deal with it” or “get over it”. Feel your feelings, but don’t stay there. Cry if you must. Scream if you must. Cuddle up with your most favorite junk food while you binge watch your favorite show if you must. But once you’ve done what you need to do in order to get those feelings out, get up and smile. Do something that makes you happy. Be patient with yourself. Show yourself a little extra TLC. You don’t have to deny or ignore your feelings, in fact, you should embrace them. The trick, however, is to not allow them to consume you.
- Protect your peace by any means necessary. You know the holidays are coming, so, do your best to prepare for them. If you know your family is notorious for playing 21 Questions when it comes to your dating life and it bothers you, decide whether or not answering their questions is beneficial to your mental health. Yes, they are your family and you love them and they love you, but if answering their questions is a reminder to you of where you are and that’s going to leave you feeling “less than”, you need to get your response together.
You get to decide if your response is a “scripted” answer you will give to any family member you know is prone to asking personal questions or deciding that you will not continue answering questions you don’t feel comfortable answering. It may seem extreme, but you have to do what works best for you. Taking a break from social media may also be needed if you find yourself feeling more depressed after seeing all the nice pictures and families online. Take the time to read some books or check out some comedy shows or going full on “unplugged” and not using your phone at all for a few hours a day.
- Take time to show gratitude for the things you DO have. As cliche as it might sound, taking time to show gratitude really does work. Let me be clear though in saying that practicing gratitude does not guarantee you will not feel down about your current situation, and as stated, those feelings should be embraced. It does, however, mean that you will begin to see that singleness isn’t a curse. Being in a relationship or marriage isn’t the end all, be all. There is so much more to your life than your relationship status. Your worth does NOT diminish just because you are alone, despite what society would have you believe.
- Do something nice for someone else. Volunteer at a shelter (make sure to follow all the guidelines in place to keep you safe from COVID-19), buy a nice gift for someone you know isn’t expecting anything(it doesn’t have to be anything expensive. It’s the thought that counts), cook a special dish for an elderly family member just because, etc. Doing nice things for others really will help you to take your mind off your situation and you’ll be blessed in the process of blessing someone else. Everyone wins!
- Know that material things aren’t what the holidays are about. I know that we all want to buy nice things for our kids and maybe you don’t have the money to get everything you’d like to. Please, please, please don’t beat yourself up about it. You show love to them, you clothe them, you feed them, etc, that is so much more important than gifts under a tree. It’s not about the money you spend, it’s about the time you get to spend with your family. As the saying goes, money can’t buy happiness and while I am sure you’d agree that it would definitely help, know that it isn’t everything. Your kids are blessed to have you as their mom and that in itself is a wonderful gift.
Shakina is a relationship and sexuality coach as well as a blogger, and motivational speaker. She is a single mom of two and resides in Jackson, Mississippi with her two handsome boys. She’s passionate about helping women recognize their greatness in life, love, and between the sheets.
Follow her on Social Media: