How Do People Cope With Being Alone During the Holidays?

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Being alone during the holidays can be hard. Take comfort in the fact that you’re really not alone and that there is always something you can do to ease the pain of being by yourself during the holidays — think of all the guys who are with their families, or partners’ families, during the holidays who wish they could avoid the awkwardness of get-togethers. Try and forget about the way it’s “supposed” to be, and remember that a lot of people are doing what’s expected of them and have probably run themselves down with all of their obligations. What they wouldn’t do for some alone time that you’ve been gifted. See? There is a silver lining with everything and there’s no need to feel badly about spending the holidays alone. Here are five things you can do to stay busy this holiday season.

1. Get out and go somewhere in your neighborhood

Consider this your holiday staycation. One of the best parts of being by yourself is doing what you want to do and going the places you want to go to. During the holidays, it’s easy to find joy in a lot of places because of the celebratory and giving mood that people are entranced and conditioned by. Find places to go that will amuse and stimulate you. Go to museums, holiday festivals, visit your local holiday market, or simply gaze at the streets and houses decorated throughout your neighborhood that are sure to recharge you and give your spirits a lift.

2. Try a new dating site

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We’re not just talking any dating site or app; this one is tailor-made for the holidays: SingleThisHoliday.com. This niche dating site addresses this time of the year when it can feel difficult to not have a significant other. This U.K.-based site’s aim is to help you look for someone to keep you company throughout the holiday season, and the company touts that everyone on the site is pretty genuine. Jonathan Bird, managing director of the site, says, “The idea for a holiday themed site came up because the winter holidays can be a lonely time for those without loved ones and someone to cozy up with in front of the fire. Most people don’t want to be alone for the holidays and this site offers a safe platform where people of all ages can chat, send photos and arrange to meet up.”

The website is free to sign up but have the option to sign up for a full membership that unlocks added features, such as online chats with singles in your area, mobile alerts, and a dating diary. From there you can upload pictures and arrange to meet for dates. To get and keep you in the mood to cozy up to your next date, the site has a fresh winter theme that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside about searching for your new mate. That is, if you want to.

3. Take a singles trip

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If you don’t feel like staying home, then book a vacation. Many travel agencies or destination resorts offer travel packages that are singles-focused for the holidays. Just because you have no one to travel with doesn’t mean that you won’t by chance meet someone while you’re sipping a frozen margarita on the beach. At the very least, if you don’t make any kind of love connection, maybe you’ll make a new friend. You can go on a cruise, to a mountain resort and ski with other singles, or enjoy a warm holiday vacation somewhere. It doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you go with the intention of relaxing and have a good time getting to know other people from different areas. Or again, just bask in the solace of drinking your frozen marg.

4. Volunteer

What better way to make yourself feel better than volunteering to help others in need, especially during the holidays. Volunteering at a mission or shelter for the homeless will not only help you feel better but feel more of a connection as well. Elaine Rodino, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif., tells PsychCentral that volunteering at a soup kitchen will give you a healthy perspective on life and that should mitigate any of your feelings of loneliness. “There’s nothing like that for slapping you back to realizing how well you are,” Rodino says. Find a cause you connect with and volunteer. Spread a little bit of holiday cheer to those who really need it.

5. Just get through it

When you really think about it, the holidays only consist of a couple of days out of the entire year. Rodino advises her patients, if they’re not up for any of the other suggestions to just get through it. Sleep in, watch Netflix, read, and relax because pretty soon it will be over. Remember to just stay focused on yourself and acknowledging your needs, and you’ll see just how quickly the holidays fly by.

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