If you used to be a WE and are now a ME, the holidays can be an uncomfortable time of year. It’s not the best time in the world especially if ‘1’ is a new number for you. There is an sense of family and couples everywhere. At least it can seem that way.
It can also bring to surface a lot of sad memories of how it used to be or thoughts of how you thought it was going to be. Depression is a common occurrence during the holidays. Avoiding the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s and if only’s can be a challenge. There are a couple of ways to combat these feelings. Here’s a few ideas and things I have done to help ensure I don’t get caught in the depression trap:
1. Make sure that you are engaged in an activity that takes you outside of yourself. Meaning participation in a charity or aiding someone less fortunate. It is the best form of a holiday pick me up there is. There are many opportunities available this time of year: Angel Tree, Salvation Army, Soup Kitchens, etc. The list is endless. Just remember it should be an activity, not just a monetary donation. Engaging your children, if you have them, or your friends can bring extra special fun to the event as well.
2. Take some time to be good to yourself. In a hustle, bustle world of holiday everything, it’s easy to get frustrated with the shopping crowds and traffic. Everyone and their brother sees to be out exactly at the same time you are. It’s odd how it works out that way, isn’t it? 🙂 So find some time at least once during the holiday season to set aside for you. This can be to get a mani or pedi or go to that new art class or even just sit at a park and read. What is it that you enjoy doing just for yourself? It’s your time to enjoy as you see fit. A word of caution if you are teetering on the edge of depression, avoid being alone. A facial or manicure will keep you engaged in the real world while doing something relaxing for yourself.
3. Attend all the holiday parties ALONE! Holiday parties are for one thing and one thing only having a good time. Enjoying good food, engaging other people, maybe even playing some games. But when you are used to doing it with someone at your side, it can be unnerving to walk in to a party by yourself for many people. I had to do it just this past Saturday night. I knew the person who invited me and no one else out of the 57 RVSPing yes. That’s a lot of strangers. But for me personally, meeting 56 strangers is almost easier than meeting 12 semi-acquaintances. Odd isn’t it. Here are some tricks:
- Put on your professional face as if you were attending a conference. Most of us have that persona tucked away for business. But in this scenario it allows us to bridge the gap from business to social setting. You wouldn’t think twice of attending a business meeting alone, but a social event may rattle your nerves. Go at it like this. As you meet a few people you can relax a bit and begin to show your social side on a personal level.
- Find the one person in the room you know and ask them to introduce you to a few others who may be alone or someone of interest that you can engage a bit. So you are not standing in the corner by yourself.
4. Exercise, exercise, exercise!!! I can not stress this enough. It benefits you in two ways. 1) Physically – By working off all those extra pounds people pick up during the holiday. 2) Mentally/Emotionally – It is a fact that exercise helps in these areas as well. The endorphins released during exercise provide a pick me up and battle the blues chemically in your body. Yes, I’m putting that in simplified terms, but really the effect is all your really need understand. Just do it! I promise it will help. Besides, working out at the gym is a perfect place to be working off some steam, when your ex or everyone else you know is at a holiday party and you’re not.
These are just a few ways to help battle the holiday blues. I hope they help you, the way they’ve helped me. One parting thought, if you are really finding it hard to be alone on the holidays, start a blog and write about it. It’s also very cathartic! Trust me. 😉