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Suffering and Single During the Holidays

Updated on March 12, 2011

Your Object: To Feel Refreshed

It hurts to be lonely during holidays if you're single, can't get to your family or have no family, or have moved recently to a new location. You have nowhere special to go, and the phone does not ring because everyone else is busy or out of town.

Don't beat yourself up about it. Everyone eventually has to spend some holiday alone. Doing something that you might do on a vacation will refresh you. Concentrate on treating yourself well and having as many positive feelings as you can. Notice that I said "Treat yourself well," NOT "do the laundry" or "drink in front of the TV till you pass out"!

After several holidays alone I learned a few things that helped:

Try new or special food. Brew a new kind of coffee or heat up the most expensive frozen pizza. Buy or cook the food you most like, because you are worth it, and set your table as if for a guest, sit down and eat until you're full. That's what everyone else is doing; why miss out?

Work. Get ahead monetarily. Some people get paid double or triple time on holidays. If your workplace is open, go there; hardly anyone else will be working and you'll have more freedom than usual, plus you can exchange this work day for a day off when you really want one. If you can work electronically, work some billable hours.

Staycation. You can sleep late and not bother with showering, makeup or shaving. Gotta love it. Many businesses and attractions are closed on holidays, so I might put on country clothes, drive out and walk in a county park or some other place that will be open and free. It's a good day to pursue a hobby, read a juicy book or magazine, or refresh yourself spiritually and creatively, however you do that. Avoid things that you usually use to make yourself numb, like alcohol or video games.

Get Out. Think of this as a day when no one can stop you from going where you've always wanted to go but never had the time. It's a good day to fish, try a new bike or camera, explore a road or neighborhood. I try to do something I've never done before. Even in winter you won't be sorry you went out and got some fresh air.

Volunteer: I don't have the gene for volunteerism, but some organization needs your help on the holiday, and they're probably broadcasting that need right now

Holidays originally were sacred ("holy") days of celebration and refreshment. If you want to be miserable and feel really lonely, indulge in things that alienate you even from yourself, like heavy drinking, staring out the window, listening to sad music, aimless driving, compulsive shopping, or hours of video games or porn.


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