A Guide: Spending The Holidays Alone

by Chloe' Flowers

Spending the holidays alone is seeming to be the reality for many of us at this transitional time. Even if we aren’t alone, this time feels different and has forced us into new ways of celebration. There are less voices and laughter, there’s less catching up and social interactions. We are craving the warmth from our loved ones, and we may have a case of cabin fever. Maybe we are experiencing a breakup, or allowing space between ourselves and family members with racist/prejudice perspectives. Communication is disrupted with so much racial, financial and spiritual turmoil. At the height of so much shifting, you may find yourself alone on the holiday. We will address why being alone during the holidays isn’t so bad, and ways to embrace it. 

 

Acknowledge Your Feelings

 

A really important thing to do during the holidays is acknowledge how you feel. If you are feeling blue because you’ll be alone during the holiday, that is okay. Ask yourself why you’re experiencing grief around that. Is it because you had to choose yourself and make that decision?  Is it because you are wanting to stay safe and have fear around the pandemic? Maybe you just don’t have anyone worth spending the holiday with. You could be someone who is anxious about holidays, even outside of a pandemic –  and yearn for the solace of self. All of these are valid reasons, and they are places of growth and realization.

 

Positivity in Aloneness

 

Since we have associated the holidays with social and family gatherings, our expectations are centered on that. I think we should focus on some of the positive things about being alone on the holidays. 

 

For starters, you don’t have to host anyone. This is a time for you to focus on your own authentic ideas. This is a time to celebrate yourself, and cook foods that you like. It is challenging, but it’s a time to be creative with the way you approach the holidays. There is still so much to be grateful for, and it all depends on how you think of it. The gathering will commence when it is safe, or when you feel it’s time. Turn inward and seek positivity within your individual being. This is the time for ultimate self pampering. Guilt free !

 

Things You Can Do Alone During The Holidays 

 

My top suggestion for being alone during the holidays, is to do all the normal things you would do – but alone. I think the same activities will bring you the festive spark – but doing it alone will allow you to be present and experience gratitude for the gesture. 

 

Here are a few ideas :

 

If you are fond of self-care…

  • Set the table for one. Light candles -turn on music and be present with every bite. Enjoy what you have prepared for yourself. A BIPOC-owned brand we love at ATPB is this La Botica candle. Buy yourself something nice, because you deserve it. 
  • Wear something that makes you feel good. This could be a nice dress and a new lipstick, or your favorite robe ! My favorite self care lounge sets are from Shop Arq. They’re comfortable and support all body types, while still making you feel comfortable!

Image Source: La Botica

If you are in need of rest…

  • Allow yourself the space to rest when you are tired. The holidays can be exhausting and performative, take some time to rest, because rest is essential. Stay off of social media if you are triggered by the holidays, or seeing others with family. Mental, emotional, and physical rest are priceless. 
  • For rest in the form of a change in scenery, consider visiting a local park, garden, or museum. Give time back to yourself by way of relocating to a tranquil space.

 

If you are looking to be proactive…

  • Prepare the environment. Even if holiday decorations aren’t your thing, you can still do something small to create a visual excitement factor. Hang up a new painting. Decorate a tree. I’ve even seen some amazing handmade ornaments on social media ! I myself have been really into creating floral arrangements.  
  • Make at least one phone call. Having some form of connection with other human beings will make you feel a lot better. You will feel secure, even though you are by yourself.

Image Source: Any Lane

If you are considering to service others…

It is also proven that selfless acts release oxytocin, a love hormone that boosts our mood. 

  • If you are looking to have meaningful impact around the holidays, consider getting connected to a local food pantry that services others. 
  • Consider embracing the nature of the ‘the season of giving’ and dedicate time to your community. Are there elderly shelters or children’s hospitals you can write letters to?
  • If it is within your means, perhaps buy gifts for children in orphanages or foster homes in your area. We don’t have to limit our kindness to those who share blood. 

 

Keep in mind that many things are still meaningful when done alone. Having other humans around us is a bonus. People are beautiful, we miss them and social interaction is a part of healthy living. Although people bring us comfort, it is essential to know how to depend on yourself – even during holidays. You know exactly what you need, and what you like – so take the time to do and create those things. Create new memories with yourself. It’s so rare to get this time alone that we should cherish it. We may never get this opportunity again. It’s okay to relive memories and traditions in the absence of your loved ones, those traditions create a bond that can be shared anywhere. More importantly, this is a chance to create your own practices. Let it all be about you. 

Featured Image Source: @blackandolive

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