I don’t know why the holidays tend to be emotionally hard for singles. It’s as if our solo-ness is amplified by all the festive gatherings that seem to require a plus one.
Putting up a Christmas tree alone, wandering aimlessly through the shopping mall looking for family gifts, attending a New Years’ Eve gala without a date all seem emotionally charged with self-worth woes. It’s really hard not to wonder WHY me? Why am I the one alone this year? AGAIN?
And then there’s the embarrassment that comes with being the only one without a partner to important family functions or glitzy holiday parties. It sucks when your status makes you want to just stay home and hide with Netflix, a bottle of wine, a cozy blanket, and your cat.
It’ll all be over in a few weeks…right?
Believe me, I know your pain. For 8 years, I’ve faced the holiday season as a single woman and some years have been very hard indeed. That’s why I’ve looked for ways to make the holidays brighter and easier. And the good news is there is a surefire way to feel less lonely during the holidays. I’ve landed upon this one strategy that seems to help immensely and I wanted to share it today in case you too are dreading the coming weeks of “Merry and Bright.”
Find others who might be struggling too and be the light in their dark days – people who might be spending their holidays alone, single mothers trying to make their kids’ holiday special on a shoestring, a friend struggling in their relationship, the older man whose wife recently passed.
Lots of lonely people are out there feeling just like you.
So look for ways to be ultra kind. Smile at people in the stores (especially the scowling ones). Call another single friend and plan a night out. Buy a few ten-dollar gift cards to popular spots and give them to people who you think could use a pick me up. Volunteer. Lend a hand or an ear.
Be the support others need to feel their worth on a cold winter’s night.
I know it’s hard to put yourself out there when you’re feeling blue during this red, green and gold season, but I can guarantee that lifting others works to flip your funk on its ear. Most symptoms of loneliness are really just feelings of our unworthiness. And there’s no better way to witness our own worth than to be of value to others. You simply have to want to feel better and the rest is easy.
What are some of the ways you’ve found to support others through the holiday season?