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Giving Thanks- A Holiday Plan For Singles
Is it almost the holiday season already? Another year has passed and here you are, anticipating what?
Do you approach this "season of joy" with a feeling of dread or at the very least, with the thought of just getting through it?
Do these experiences sound familiar?
* Feeling exhausted and/or burned out by the level of activity or the expectations of others
* Sadness/melancholy over not having a significant other to share the holiday with
* Feeling peripheral at family gatherings
* Debating going somewhere new/far away to escape it all
* Staying at home alone and pretending it's just another day
If you can relate to any of the above, it's time to begin planning for a better holiday season. After all, this is a time for everyone, regardless of his or her marital state.
The following tips are offered to help you design a holiday experience that is right for you. After you read through them, put your plan into place as soon as possible.
1. Begin by taking some time to reflect on what is meaningful to you. Specifically, what experiences would be most valuable to you during this time?
Some examples of this are:
Time with friends and/or other single adults
Time with family
Extra rest and relaxation
Taking on the role of a giver in some project or volunteer opportunity
Quiet time to catch up on work, projects, etc.
As you look at your list, prioritize each according to its importance. Then go over your schedule and block out a realistic and appropriate amount of time for them. It is important to get your plans in place early. Call family, friends and others to arrange for visits and social events. Be specific. Check out opportunities around you to volunteer some time to others in need, if this is something you want to do.
Make sure you leave time for rest, relaxation and decompression. If you need catch up time, put it in the schedule.
If you don't do any planning, chances are that the holiday will follow its usual pattern, and leave you feeling how?
2. Make a decision to take good care of yourself over the holidays. Here are some basic dos:
Limit stress - don't over commit
Plan for relaxation and exercise (walking through the mall is good)
Pace yourself and take your time. Rushing will only slow you down.
Strive for balance. Don't let demands and responsibilities lead you to ignore the other parts of your life and/or your basic needs.
Eat right, get enough sleep
3. Focus on what is good in your life NOW.
It's hard to give thanks if all we see are the things that are problematic or missing. Make a list of your achievements, strengths, assets and other positives. Say a few words of appreciation each day; in whatever way you do this. Giving thanks can be a powerful experience that shifts your feelings and outlook away from the negative, provides hope for the future and raises incentive for making the changes you desire.
Chances are that many (most) years, you reflect on last year's holidays while wondering what next year could be like. Remember that the decisions you make today and the actions you take, will help determine your level of personal satisfaction and achievement in the future. Since you will most likely attract the kind of person you project yourself to be, your positive feelings and behavior should bring you closer to the relationship you seek.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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