The most wonderful time of year? Or the worst if you are single? Being single during the holidays can strain any woman’s sense of self-worth, but I’m here to show how to get through it all. Let me tell you, it ain’t easy being single through the holidays. Mistletoe, eggnog and well-meaning co-workers and family can make you feel like going into hiding until the end of the year.
Don’t let thoughts of being single interfere with your Christmas cheer and turn you into a Grinch. Just because you are single, does not mean you cannot set your own expectations. Having fun, or not having fun, is a choice. The pressure you are feeling is mostly internal. That doesn’t mean there are not emotional pitfalls to watch out for though.
This one can be tricky. You may not be the only one feeling the pressure of the holiday season. Maybe your ex sends you a lovely “Happy Holidays” message, or perhaps you initiate while feeling lonely. If you reach out, be prepared for anything to happen. It could be a simple response or an invitation to see them.
Please remember, they are usually your ex for a reason and most people DO NOT change. You really want to avoid putting that gift under the tree for yourself. Let me tell you, batteries are not included!
Whether you initiate that text or not, remember you have complete control of your emotional and text/email response. A simple “You, too!” could be the best gift you give yourself this year. And please don’t bother your co-worker by asking what your ex’s text means. Mind-reading is not on anybody’s resume.
Your family means well, they really do. Then again, just because they are stuck on Groundhog’s Day instead of Christmas by asking the same question each time,” Are you ready to settle down?” doesn’t mean you have to be. While you really want to shout that you aren’t settling for anything, maybe a funny quip will work better instead. Give them a funny response, maybe, “He’s a gremlin’s survivor and doesn’t come out at Christmas”.
Although, a sincere and quick response might convince them to avoid a long drawn out discussion amongst all your great aunts and uncles. The questions could feel hurtful, especially if you have been seeking a strong relationship or dating with intention. Just remember, grandma is not asking to make you feel bad, it comes from a place of care. Just like with your ex, your response is your own and you are in control. You can tell them something humorous or serious, but you own the conversation.
The gaudy decorations, the eggnog, the infamous copy machine incident, the mandatory fun of work Christmas parties. What’s not to love? Being single is NOT the scarlet letter, it is possible to be happy on your own. If you feel good in your own space, 99% of people are going to respond based on that and not pester you about your love life. Be careful, though. Watch your alcohol intake as it will lower your inhibitions and make Ted from accounting seem like a much less terrible idea. Just remember to relax, have fun and network.
Targeted marketing means you might be seeing more Facebook and Google ads targeted towards you if you are single. Or maybe your social media feed is filled to the brim with happy couples snogging under the mistletoe. The holidays can be (relatively) stress free if you want. Keep in mind, Jane probably had to retake that picture 30 times, adjust the lighting and do some nip/tuck with the app before posting, with a blurb that she thought about for an hour.
Remember, Facebook is not always the real world and you could go crazy trying to keep up with the Joneses. Happiness comes from within yourself. So, don’t let Zales’ and Jarrod’s advertising campaigns, or someone else’s good time bring you down.
If you (and just about everyone else) can’t get the mental space, you need try some of the following things to cheer yourself up:
Sometimes not lining up a relationship can feel like you haven’t made progress. Remind yourself that is not true. Remember that awesome trip or that big career move you made. You are not a standing still after all. This is what being single and thriving is all about.
This is my list and Christmas parties belong in both areas as emotional pitfall and an amazing idea. If you are a social person that hosts events throughout the year, what is stopping you now? Let your arts and crafts freak flag fly and have a great time. You can make ornaments, decorate your tree, craft some outrageous cookies (and eat them) while sitting around sipping cocoa with your besties. Sounds like fun to me!
Alternatively, there are usually a ton of Single’s Christmas Parties if you are feeling the urge to mingle. You do you and go have a good time.
Just because you aren’t “in a relationship” doesn’t mean you don’t have any. Parents, siblings and close friends can ease the burden you might be feeling. You can always work with a coach or mentor to keep you focused when things seem tough. There is also nothing wrong with making new friends.
Go for a hayride or a to Christmas market. Christmas festivals that involve preludes, boats, firework displays with entire streets of homes covered in lights are many of the activities to get off your butt and try. Feeling Grinchy and tired of Christmas? Go bowling! There are always things to do.
Feeding the homeless, helping a women’s shelter, deliver gifts to an orphanage, volunteering for the Red Cross or a local church could go a long way to ease someone else’s suffering. Not even sure where to start? Try VolunteerMatch.com to get started. There is no shortage of love and care an amazing woman like you can give.
Home Alone, It’s a Wonderful Life, Gremlins, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Die Hard, Love Actually, Elf and more can really spice up the holidays. Netflix makes it to easy to make movie magic happen. Warning: Don’t get to emotional during Love Actually! (I love that movie)
If you know me, Christmas trips are MY THING! Every year I plan out something new to do, because I decide how I spend Christmas, and so can you. You would be amazed at how beautiful the Christmas markets in Italy and Scotland are or how beautiful the Eiffel Tower glitters at night from the Seine river. Make your own way in the world and never apologize for it! If you don’t want to be alone, guided tours means you travel with a bus load of potentially awesome people.
With all these amazing ideas you can turn “bah, humbug” into a humblebrag.
I don’t want you to think there won’t be ups or downs because it’s completely normal this time of year. You also shouldn’t feel like you MUST manage on your own. I’ve had coaches and mentors that help me through hard times. I know during this season we’re tempted to rush into a relationship or revive old ones. I would think twice because the holidays will be over in a few weeks. Starting the new year in a relationship you don’t really want just makes one more New Year’s resolution to work on.
Don’t allow your ex, family, Facebook feed or even well-meaning friends control how you feel and act this season. Get out there, engage with the world and experience an amazing adventure. Or cozy up in your best snuggie, drink some hot cider and meditate on how you are going to dominate 2019! I love you all. Kisses!