Last Xmas, an eHarmony study found that 47% of singles said that loneliness was the reason they dreaded the holiday season.
Being single at the most wonderful and rather romantic time of the year, fending off questions from nosy relatives about your love life, and being constantly surrounded by couples can highlight the downside of being single.
It can be very tempting to drown your sorrows in the excess alcohol surrounding you, or the chocolates and mince pies being pushed on you at Xmas parties and dinners. However, here are some tips to help you say ‘no’ to self-pity, and enjoy the holiday season with confidence.
Be Busy. Most people have time off work around the holiday period and are usually thrown out of their daily routines. This can mean that you have more time on your hands, forcing your mind to wander and think back to a time when you were happier or think about a person who’s no longer in your life. It can be a good idea to distract yourself with activities. Make lots of plans to spend with your friends. Reconnect with old friends or family you don’t get to see very often. Volunteer to help out with jobs such as cooking, wrapping or last-minute shopping.
People Really Aren’t Paying You That Much Attention. Family gatherings can be chaos. There’s always something going on or someone doing something that causes quite the stir. You might be worried about making your entrance solo, but really most people are too busy socialising, or being ‘merry’ to notice. If you are desperately dreading attending events by yourself, recruit a friend to join you, or even a group of friends if the host is happy with it.
On the subject of parties, there’s often a whole host of single people, who are looking to meet somebody – even if it’s just to enjoy the evening with. Make the most of others who are in the same boat as you. You might even find yourself having a good time.
Be Optimistic. There are actually many upsides to single life around the holidays and there can be a lot less pressure. There’s no worry about finding your partner the perfect gift, constantly wondering whether it will match up to the one they have for you. There’s no argument about whose family to spend the day with, and no need to feel like you’re constantly trying to impress their family. Plus, you can fill your time doing whatever- with whoever you like, right through to the New Year.
And to put things in perspective, the Family Mediation Helpline reported 1.9 million couples considering divorce over the festive period, due to the pressure placed on their relationship. Xmas is also a difficult time for couples, so be aware that everybody has their own struggles to deal with.
Be Selfish. If the thought of spending your holidays at home are really that terrifying, book a winter break. Go abroad for a few days with a friend, or even by yourself. Pay attention to your personal wellbeing and focus on what will bring you joy over the festive season, instead of trying to be everything to everybody else. And if you do opt to go home, remember to take time out for yourself when you need to. Regular breaks to focus on yourself might make you more appreciative of those around you, and help to keep you sane.
Remember, Xmas only lasts for a short while. So, try to enjoy it whilst you can. Keep things in perspective and take time for yourself when you need to. If you use these tips and still find yourself feeling lonely, sad or worried, you might benefit from an online conversation where we can talk through these challenges in a supportive and confidential setting. Speaking to somebody outside of your family or friendship group can sometimes be more enlightening.
Enjoy the festive season.