Art Sims of WVON 1690 and I recently talked about some ways singles can prevent the holiday blues. Here’s what we discussed during the talk radio show.
It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s bring lots of holiday excitement. There is much emphasis on seeing family, friends, and loved ones. But when you are single, the holiday season can feel lonely.
Most people have high expectations around the holiday season. There is much involvement with family, visits and parties with friends, a lot of holiday anticipation, and excitement coupled with stress. There is pressure to give the perfect gift, have the perfect meal, and experience the perfect holiday. This can lead to pressuring yourself to expend a great deal of energy in order to please everyone. This is usually followed by exhaustion and emotional letdown once the holidays are over.
When you are single, the holidays can be even more difficult. This is because you may not have a support system in place. Perhaps you don’t have someone special to be with during the holidays. You may feel isolated, even depressed.
Instead of lamenting the onset of the holidays, you can choose to be proactive and shake those holiday blues before they begin. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider:
- Do some volunteer work.
If you focus only on yourself, you can become trapped in victimizing mode. The best way to avoid the victim mode is to extend yourself to others. Volunteer to serve the homeless, visit sick children in the hospital, or spend time with elderly people at a local nursing home. Getting outside your own circumstances can help you to feel gratitude. This will increase your happiness, shifting your focus away from your own sadness.
- Spend time with someone you enjoy who makes you laugh.
Older people are great for this kind of thing. Because of their life experiences, they can simplify things for you. They may be able to shed light on something you have been struggling with. They have real life experiences you can learn from. Or you can hang out with that one friend who always makes you laugh. This can cheer you up and get you through the rough times.
- Watch a comedy, a funny movie or TV show.
Sometimes your mind just needs a distraction. It’s good to turn your focus away from your problems. Removing yourself from your own world and entering into someone else’s for a couple hours can help give your brain a rest from worrying. Immersion of this type may also give you some downtime to help you problem solve in a more creative manner.
- Let it out then let it go.
It is normal to experience a range of emotions. When you are sad you need to experience those sad feelings. Crying allows you to release some of your emotional pain. The key is not to languish in this emotional state of mind. By acknowledging sadness, then crying and releasing the emotions, you may allow some level of closure and bring about peace of mind.
- Change up your environment.
When all else fails, one thing which may help you feel better is to get out and about. Visit a botanical garden, a museum, an art show, or a park. Nature and beauty have a way of relaxing us. Changing up your environment can also coincide with your hobbies or favorite activities and serve as a reboot as you expose yourself to other people, new scenery, and a vista outside your own head.
- Listen to music that is upbeat.
Create a playlist of songs and label them Fun or Happy. Pick songs that motivate you, remind you of good times you have experienced, or that make you want to dance. Music can be an immediate mood booster. It can help to relax you and move your mind into a more positive space.
- Focus on your spirituality and faith.
If you believe in God or a higher power, seek solace via prayer, church, or meditation. If you don’t go to a formal church, you can tap into your spirituality in other ways that give you peace of mind. Mediation and yoga help to slow you down and teach you how to quiet your mind. These techniques come in handy when you need to de-stress and relax your mind.
- Do things that make you happy.
Exercise is a great way to get your adrenaline going. Twenty minutes of exercise boosts the level of serotonin in your brain, which is a neurochemical that elevates mood. Self-care is important as well. A spa day, mini-vacation, or treating yourself to something you enjoy can do wonders for your mood.
Now that we are knee deep in the holiday season, remember to take charge of your mood. You can prevent the holiday blues. Use the list and remember to focus on the things that make you happy, not those that make you feel blue.
You are capable of receiving love. There is a relationship that will work for you. Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. If you are struggling with your current relationship, newly divorced and looking to get back in the dating scene, or single and trying to find the right person for you, maybe I can help. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up on my website to receive dating tips and relationship advice. For fast advice, read my book, The Relationship Investigator’s Fast Guide to Successful Dating.