It may seem upsetting that everyone is with family during this time, but not everyone has the opportunity or the privilege to travel to see others, especially when travel tickets spike in price around the holidays. Whether it’s affordability, distance, etc., there are ways to spend the holidays alone without feeling bad for yourself. There are tons of chances to make these moments your own, and to still create memories for the rest of your life. Whatever your situation is, I hope that you can take pleasure in knowing that you’re not alone, and that this just gives you more opportunities to have fun!
- Have something fun to do
Please don’t sit around and feel bad for yourself… not that it’s not upsetting to spend a holiday alone, but there are so many better things that you could be doing! Plan something for that day that will get you up, showered (hey, it’s hard to shower if you’re upset!), and out of the house for even just an hour or two! Pack a picnic for yourself and go to the park, or take a hike with your lunch in your backpack. Better yet, get food from your favorite restaurant and eat it when you get to your hiking destination! I once hiked to the top of a rock that overlooked a river, and a guy was laying on one of the rocks above the river eating a Chipotle burrito… and at that moment I wish that I was as content as that man was… but I ate my picnic lunch in jealousy of that guy’s delicious burrito… (I ended up getting a burrito shortly after my hike…).
- Make it a goal to get something done
Clean the house, organize your closet, wash your car… whatever you’ve been meaning to do, just take the time to do it! You’ll feel a lot better once it’s completed, and you’ll be able to brag about how productive you were while others were trying to avoid hugs and kisses from distant relatives. They’ll be envious because they probably also have a basement that needs decluttering. Even if it’s something small like cleaning up some small things that are out, and vacuuming. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you can dust and wipe down surfaces, but obviously not requires. Do what makes you happy.
- Make time for yourself
One Thanksgiving when I was by myself, I got a small Thanksgiving meal for myself, and the next day I went horseback riding because it was something that I never had the time to do anymore, and it was also something that I hadn’t done in years. I got the chance to do a horseback guided tour of the Gettysburg battlegrounds. It was really neat to see everything, spend time with an amazing horse, and just a really interesting way to take time to myself without having to really try hard. (The horse did most of the work, after all!)
- Do something you’ve always wanted to do
Similar to my experience above, take this opportunity to do something that you’ve wanted to do, or never had the time to do. You may not be able to do these things on Christmas Day, however, because most places are closed. But you can take the day before or after to get a massage, go on a hiking trail, try that new Thai restaurant, etc. This is time that you get to take for yourself, so make sure to take advantage of it as best as you can!
- Do the holiday YOUR way!
Does your mother have to have green bean casserole at Thanksgiving dinner, or is everything gluten-free because your sister is allergic to it? Fear not, because when you spend a holiday alone, you get to do things your way! No green bean casserole in this house! Feel free to make an entire bowl of stuffing, pour gravy over it, and consider that your holiday meal! There are no rules when you do the holiday your own way!
Have you always wanted to go Black Friday shopping at midnight like those people you see on TV and in movies?? Now’s your chance! Find out what you’re shopping for, or if you just want to get the experience of Black Friday, and just go! No one is there to stop you, and you might just have a good time!
- Give back to your community
Spend days like these giving back to your community! Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen, tell your coworkers to donate clothes and bring them to a homeless shelter, or help out elsewhere. See if your local churches are holding events in which you could volunteer your time at, or see if you can hold an event somewhere and bring a bunch of people together on that day. This is a great way to involve others, whether they’re with their families for the holidays or if they are also by themselves.
No matter what you end up doing on your holiday by yourself, don’t ever think that you’re alone during this time. Keep in touch with family, friends, and relatives on this day to yourself. They miss you as much as you miss them, if not, more. So take the time to reflect on the blessings that you have in your own life, and continue to live your best life. Even if you are upset about being alone, it’s just another day, and tomorrow will come. Take this extra time in your life to do something unconventional, and to make friends whenever, and wherever you can!
If you have other friends that are alone for a holiday because of distance, work, etc., invite them over and have a friends-only holiday of your own! There’s no sense of being lonely when you know someone else is also lonely. So grab your buddy, put on some Netflix, and order a pizza or two! If you end up getting really stuck on what to do, check your local newspaper! There’s always some kind of celebration on holidays that you can go and be a part of!