Dear In Need of Hope,
You’re not alone in feeling the holiday blues. Despite the festive hype, being single or alone can stir up uneasy and down right dark emotions. I’ve spent a few Christmases on my own, so I can speak first hand about the headspace around this. It’s my take, that the ultimate solution is to manage our perspective and we can take some action in order to set ourselves up for success.
The buzz around the holiday season is all about family, love, and together time, and it is everywhere. It comes through in advertisements, on social media, in music and movies, and it derives from almost all of the Christmas classics … so this belief about the holiday season being all about love and togetherness is deeply rooted.
Togetherness is not always an option. We can choose to make no plans and choose solitude, or we can reach out for an invite in an attempt to find some cheer. Whatever the choice is … this is where perspective comes in … we need to be okay with it, or at least accept it. This is the challenging part. How can I be okay with something that I am not okay with? How can I feel happy when I am alone at Christmas time? And as simple as this sounds, it truly is all about what we make of it. It is about turning moments around, finding joy in solitude, and creating our own holiday magic.
Here’s why … if you were to ask your older self, say five or ten years from now, how you navigated the 2023 holidays … what would you want to look back and see?
I can’t help but think that you’d be pretty damn proud of yourself for making the best of it and enjoying a moment here and there. At the end of the day, the only thing we can do is make this holiday season the best that we can. In my opinion, nudging our perspective around is always a winning approach.
Setting myself up for success for the holidays includes reading an inspiring book, dreaming up my next year and accomplishments in my journal, creating a vision board of sorts, and a very intentional daily gratitude practice. My plan also looks like indulging in some eggnog as I trim the tree while playing my favourite Christmas music, or anti Christmas music to encourage the mood. I will make something delicious and indulgent, and I’ve been known to take on a house project or two to utilize the oh so effective tool; distraction. Not denial or avoidance, but strategic intentional distraction to help manage the headspace.
Navigating the holidays in solitude is about seeing what we already have, quieting our fear-based thoughts, and finding joy in moments of solitude. Add a dash of distraction, some healthy reading or imaginative journaling, a self love workbook, and maybe even a gratitude practice, and you will most definitely set yourself up for success this holiday season. I am not saying it will be easy … but I am saying it’s worth a try, no?
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