6 Tips To Surviving The Holidays As A Single

Love, Family

It's that time of year again and you're still single? Here's some tips to beat holiday loneliness.

There are so many things to think about this holiday season—holiday parties, gift exchanges, and holiday decor. When you're single, you have plenty of advantages; you don't have to choose which side of the family to spend Thanksgiving with or what to get your mother-in-law. The downside is that you may need to attend the dreaded holiday work party solo or sit alone on New Year's Eve, but the holidays shouldn't be a time for singles to fear.

Here are some ways to maximize the "happiest time of the year" while being single:

1. Find a holiday party buddy. Girl or guy, married or unmarried—grab someone you know who wants to join in on the holiday fun. Make a deal with your married sister so she'll come to holiday parties with you and her husband won't have to. You can go to your pal's work holiday party and he can come to yours. That way, you'll get in all the socialization of the holidays without having to worry about standing alone under the mistletoe. The holidays are about being around people you love, whomever they might be.

2. Say NO to gift-giving. It's easy to get into this slump of stressing, shopping, and searching for the perfect gifts for your friends. Try asking your friends for some quality time instead by saying, "Instead of getting gifts this year, maybe we can just do something fun together." Every year, my best friend and I skip the gifts and treat each other to some sort of outing together. We actually look forward to it; we both get what we want and we get to be together. There's no stress and you get what really matters.

3. Be your own Santa. Whatever you want, give it to yourself—that beautiful necklace, pair of boots, cologne. If there's something you've been saving up for, buy it for yourself. Why wait? The holidays are about making yourself happy, too.

4. Give back. The holidays can be a depressing time for singles and you may catch that loneliness bug. But, there are plenty of people—single, married, or otherwise—who have a lot less than you do. Everyone's got their own struggle and set of problems. Find a local charity you believe in and give back, feed the homeless, read to the elderly, or tutor children. Not only is it beneficial to the community, but it'll remind you that there's a big world out there with people just like you, making every day happen.

5. Indulge. Have an extra glass of champagne or eat that extra bit of chocolate. It's the holidays! Why not get a little crazy? You'll have fun.

6. Cure loneliness for another. Now is the time to say "hello" to that guy who sits alone at lunch or your neighbor who never has any visitors. Loneliness is universal, whether you're single or married. Connecting with another human being is what captures the spirit of the holidays, so if you're feeling lonely, this might be a comforting exercise to get to know someone who understands. And, if you're not, it's an act of kindness that will bring you all kinds of good graces.

7. Don't overthink the holidays. Not having a date on New Year's Eve doesn't mean you won't date all year, and going to one holiday party alone doesn't define your year. It's tempting to blow the holidays out of proportion and get caught up in the hype, but most of that is in your head. Don't overthink and try to have fun.

Relax. Indulge. Enjoy. Santa will be sure to bring treats to singles who maximize their holiday time.