The holidays can be challenging if you are single.
Advertising caters almost exclusively to couples and families, and we single folk can start to feel like outcasts in a world where everyone else seems connected but us. Holidays might also trigger memories of happy events that we’ve had with previous lovers and partners, which can feel crappy if we’re now flying solo. It’s no wonder that many people cite the holidays as the loneliest time of the year.
But never fear my single friends: Santa Claus loves you too. Here are five ways to make this holiday season the most delicious love glut yet.
When we give presents to other people, we feel good! And it doesn’t have to be expensive; gifting small treats creates just as much happiness as gifting something lavish. The simple act of bringing a coffee to a friend can trigger our happy hormones. When we give something to someone else, not only do we feel happy and excited, we feel more connected to other people. We remember that our small acts can have a profound effect on those around us.
If you’re on your own, you may be tempted to forgo the ritual of home decoration. Bah, humbug, you might think. Why bother? Well, you want to bother because making a sweet little holiday nest will give you satisfaction and joyful energy in your own home. You deserve it! So get out your twinkly lights and go crazy.
Gather your friends and have a bash or plan an outing. Celebrating together helps us to remember the importance of all kinds of human connection. We often fantasize that our partner should be more valuable and deeper than any other connection in our lives. This romantic idea started in medieval times and is now great at selling movie tickets. But friends, it just ain’t so. While your relationship with your partner will be significant, your relationships with your friends, families and colleagues are already very deep and rich. Taking time to celebrate with the people in your life will remind you of all the ways that you are already connected.
Make it a daily habit to pause and reflect on the people and things in your life for whom you are grateful. Write them down, and then take a moment to consider and feel the impact of each one. Our brain is wired to remember the negative (and the rain and snow don’t help), so we can sometimes lose sight of all the good things in our lives. We gotta put in a little elbow grease to create a balanced view! By practicing gratitude, you will bring all the good stuff forward and make it top of mind.
This holiday, take some time to reflect on activities that make you happy. Do you love movies? Skiing? Reading? Yoga? Pottery throwing? Carve out some time for a self-date night and take yourself out on the town. Sometimes we wait for someone else to show up to treat us right – this holiday season, show up for yourself. A little loving self-care reminds us as well of how much love we have to give.
The holidays are the perfect time to celebrate our relationships and connections with those around us. This year, make it a point to reach out to your community in a variety of ways. Whether it’s connecting with old friends, investing in new friends, or donating time to your community, each interaction will remind you of the beautiful impact that you can have on others.