Alone for Holidays Again?

By

Being alone for the holidays doesn't mean you have to feel lonely!

The holidays are upon us once again, and for many, it's a time of the year they spend alone. There are many reasons this occurs, whether it be because we can't afford to go home, or we have no "home" to travel to. Sometimes we just find ourselves alone for the holidays.

I've been alone for Thanksgiving, and I've been alone for Christmas. Sure, it's easy to fall into a funk and begin to feel sorry for yourself and your situation. Sometimes it was by choice, and other times it wasn't. In any case, when I was alone for Thanksgiving, I found a way to make the most of my situation and looked at it with from a very short-term perspective -- I may be alone this year, but who knows what will happen by next year.

It's also a great time to do something completely different and go outside of your comfort zone or shell of security. If you've never volunteered at a food bank or kitchen, give it a try. Gather together a few fellow co-worked or friends you think are also going to be alone for the holidays and throw your own little holiday pot-luck dinner. Sometimes the plans made at the last minute can be the most fun and exciting.

One year when I was alone for the holidays, I spent a day helping out at a local food bank. It wasn't something I ordinarily do, and I'm always a little nervous going into a situation that I've never been in before. But it was great -- it took my mind off of being alone for the day. It helps that I often feel at my best when I'm <strong>doing</strong> something, anything. I like to help others, too, so this was the best of both worlds for me.

Other people might not enjoy volunteering, and I understand that. So here are 10 other suggestions you can try if you're alone for Thanksgiving or Christmas. And if none of those things float your boat, well, here are even more suggestions on how to make the holidays a little less lonely. Remember, you can be alone for the holidays and not have to feel lonely.

And if you feel like you're missing out on the ideal holiday Hallmark scene, it helps to be brought back to reality. For most families, holidays are often a time of stress combined with a time of togetherness. It's not all flowers and sunshine, and some people absolutely dread getting together with their family because of family expectations of "togetherness."

That's part of the problem -- this sense of "togetherness" comes part and parcel with the holidays. As psychologist Dr. Elaine Rodino noted in this article about coping with the holidays, "There's so much hype for this wonderful time of togetherness, that it accentuates the feeling of being alone and disconnected."

Although we may sometimes feel very much alone in the world, we are the makers of our own reality and feelings. If you're alone this Thanksgiving or Christmas, change your expectations -- change something up this holiday season -- and you can change your holiday from one of feeling lonely and sorry for yourself, to one of feeling alone -- but content.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

4 Reasons Your Man Doesn't Appreciate You

By

Are you suffering from lack of appreciation from your man? If so, you may find the following perspective on men to be very enlightening. It might even spur you into action to get the appreciation you deserve.  Does the following ring true for you, even though you may have never considered it before? It all begins with what I am calling the holy trinity ... Read more

Are Relationships More Work Than They're Worth?

By

When NASA launches a space vehicle, it uses about 90 percent of its fuel getting beyond the earth's atmosphere. After it clears the pull of this gravitational force, considerably less fuel is required. This allows it to travel great distances expending much less energy. This principle also applies to relationships. The early stages (after you pass the ... Read more

This Is The Secret To Having A Blissful Relationship

By

The folliowing is a conversation between a couple who has kept score in their relationship.  Mira: "In the beginning of our relationship, I was a very efficient scorekeeper and kept careful track of who did what for whom. Fairness has always been a big deal for me. My stance was often, 'If you give me this, I'll give you that.' It ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.