8 Ways to Transform a Lonely Holiday

lonely holiday

Not everyone has family to celebrate with this holiday season. Some have family they need to avoid because of their toxicity. It could feel like a lonely time that would fill one with resentment and self-pity – or another option – one could find ways to celebrate life and possibility.

Personal growth is about honoring yourself. Doing the right thing for you. Eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising and yes, when a holiday comes and there is no invitation that appeals to you, do something really nice for yourself.

I know someone who will set a pretty table, with candles and wine, and make herself something special. That is someone who honors herself and has faith that somewhere in her life there will be people with whom she will want to celebrate. This year is not one of those years.

So spoil yourself and take the time to write a list of things you feel good about having accomplished in the past year. Also, write a list of things you do appreciate about your life.

  1. Plan a nice bubble bath or schedule a massage that you can look forward to.
  2. Take yourself to a movie or rent one if you prefer not going places alone.
  3. Find a book you’ve been wanting to read.
  4. Choose music that will fill you with good feelings.
  5. Paint a room or do a project you’ve wanted to do and put off.
  6. Call someone who lives a distance and wish them well.
  7. Invite someone else who might be alone to join you.
  8. Offer to volunteer somewhere.

The thing I love about life is that no matter how difficult it may be at any given moment, there are always other moments to look forward to that could be very different.

This doesn’t mean that you make no room for grieving the loss of what was or what could have been. Acknowledge that at the beginning of the day. Feel it, mourn the loss, and then move into the rest of the day. Be determined to make it a nice and healing time in which you honor you and the fact that you still have an opportunity, in the time ahead, to create new relationships and experiences.

After all, it is just another day. We put way too much expectations on holidays. Let it be what you can create that gives you comfort and pleasure.

With the right attitude, you may even find you enjoy your own company!

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About Paula Susan

Paula Susan, MSW, LCSW, Masters in Clinical Social Work & Psychology; specialist in Trauma and Relationships since 1982. In 1991, I integrated the powerfully transformative process of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Research demonstrates that it facilitates life-altering changes more efficiently and effectively than talk therapy alone. I teach skills such as communication and anxiety relief to improve connection with others. Over the decades, I’ve come to respect how much damage even small traumatic experiences inflict on our core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. I consider it a privilege to help my clients understand and change what has undermined their happiness and their relationships. I do it with warmth, integrity, humor, and profound respect for those who care about the quality of this small piece of time we have on earth.www.paulasusan.com

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