It is estimated that roughly 11% of Americans spent the holidays alone in 2020. Though for some COVID may have come into play, other circumstances may also have been present, such as divorce, loss of a loved one, or not living close to family. Being alone is not always easy. But rather than be sad about spending the holidays solo, there are great ways to make the best of your alone time. Here are 10 suggestions to avoid the holiday blues:
- Attend religious services. Research shows that folks who regularly attend religious services report stronger social support networks and less depression. Above all, connecting to God is one of the best ways to achieve internal fulfillment.
- Cook something spectacular. With no one to please but yourself, why not try out a new recipe? Put on some fun music, grab an apron, and get cooking with ingredients you love. Not only will the activity keep your mind engaged, but you’ll have a great meal to enjoy.
- Watch an uplifting movie. Grab the popcorn, get in your PJs, and put on an old holiday favorite or a new movie you’re excited to see. Choose themes that are upbeat to spread the cheer.
- Buy a book and save it to read it on the holiday. Reading is an excellent solo activity that keeps the mind engaged. Not only does it transport us to faraway places, but it teaches us about life, human nature, and the world. Also consider joining a book club. Not only will you make friends with other book lovers, but you’ll look forward to discussing the details of the book at your next meeting.
- Go for a walk. This offers you a change of scenery, a chance to commune with nature, and an opportunity to exercise in fresh air. Plus, it helps to keep you fit and happy and healthy.
- Plan a zoom meeting with family. This will give you a chance to talk to your kids and grands or extended family members on holidays when you can’t be together. It’s a great way to stay connected and join in the holiday fun from afar.
- Don’t wait for an invitation. Instead, invite some neighbors over to your place. You don’t have to go to a lot of trouble preparing a whole meal. Simply extend an invitation for friends or neighbors to drop in for dessert following their own holiday meal. Keep it simple with coffee, tea, and cookies or holiday pie.
- Volunteer at a religious organization or charity in need. Being of service to others is one of the best mood boosters. Not only is it wonderful to serve others, but it keeps you grounded and appreciative of the gifts you possess.
- Offer to watch a friend’s pet. Many people travel over the holidays and are seeking pet sitter services. Not only will you be doing a kind deed for a friend, but animals have a wonderful way of keeping people from feeling lonely and lifting spirits.
- Pick up a new hobby. Time alone can be valuably spent learning or engaging in a new hobby. Whether you decide to paper craft, crochet, woodwork or more, hobbies are creative outlets that showcase your talents and elevate your mood.
When you can’t be with family or friends, you can avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) by making a fun day for yourself with happy things to do. And, if you are feeling down, acknowledge your feelings but don’t stay stuck in the negative. Know that it’s okay to spend the holidays solo. In fact, lots of people do it and fully enjoy themselves in their stress-free home environment. Know that you are wonderful, that you possess many special gifts, including the power to make your holiday truly special.