Some people may not understand, but the holidays can be an extremely difficult time for others who are moving through life transitions. In the midst of all the celebrations and hoopla that the holidays bring, we can face utter loneliness even when we are in a crowd. If you've ever gone through a relationship breakdown, had to be away from your family, or suffered a health or financial challenge, you know very well how your outlook on the holidays might be anything but "jolly."
Personally, I've experienced all of those transitions and more. Particularly, each of last 10 years has found me facing a holiday that was unlike the previous year. I've found myself wondering how I would cope, what I would do, and how I would find the time, money, and energy to do all that was expected of me by others and myself. The pressure can add to your feelings of being overwhelmed, your despair, and your helplessness.
Over time, I've learned to deal with the loneliness so I could move through those life transitions with grace and confidence, and now, through my coaching practice and writing, I help others do that, too. Click here to receive your guide to creating a holiday that brings you joy.
Being alone during the holidays doesn't mean you have to feel lonely. Here are some tips that I respectfully send your way so you can embrace the changes you're facing, and enjoy each day as an opportunity to enjoy your new reality as it is.
- Make a plan. Get out your calendar, the newspaper, or fire up the internet. Search out all the options for things to do over the holidays. What have you always wanted to do but have never had the chance? I know my city is full of opportunities to enjoy live music, theatre, art, food, and sporting events over the holidays. What strikes your fancy? Find out what's playing at the movies and book your tickets!
- Enjoy the great outdoors. Put on some snow shoes or cross-country skis and get active. Take a walk in the park and feed the ducks. Go sliding or skating. There are many winter activities that are waiting for you — just pick one and go!
- Catch up on some reading. In the quiet hours before your big night out or on days when the weather is a little menacing, curl up with mug of comfort and a book or magazine that you've been wanting to start (or finish) for a while. There's great satisfaction in this relaxing pursuit, so go on, dig in! Check out What If They Knew? Secrets of an Impressive Woman to help you realize that you are not alone in how you're feeling, and to support you through this transition.
- Give with an open heart. Give thanks for everyone that touches your life. Shine your light and count your blessings. When you give love, it'll come back to you a hundred-fold. Spend time volunteering with others who may be alone at this time: check out your local soup kitchen, seniors' home or church group.
- Pamper yourself. Without the demands of other people around, take this opportunity for some (likely overdue) self-care. Get a manicure, pedicure, or massage (or all three!). Buy yourself something luxurious that feels nice against your skin like a pashmina, sweater, robe, or slippers. Surround yourself in comfort and love yourself!
You see, our experience of the holiday season will change when we go through life transitions such as divorce, relocation, financial difficulties, and empty nest syndrome. The good news is that you're in control of how you react to these changes. You've been given the gift of choice, and you can choose to enjoy each day by trying out some new traditions. Not all of them may stick but there is great happiness to be had from stretching your comfort zone.
It is my greatest wish that these words bring you comfort. I've created a special gift to guide you in your efforts to experience a joyful holiday season. Click here to receive it in your inbox, and please email me with questions or comments that you have.
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