The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, love, and cheer. They’re supposed to be a time to enjoy the company of people you care about. However, for some people, these expectations are rarely met. To them, the holidays are a difficult time, where they have to deal with difficult families, come to terms with loss, or experience loneliness as they spend the long days alone.
If the holidays are a difficult time for you, the good news is that there are several things you can do to help you cope. Whether you are doing it by choice or the reason for the holidays being a challenge is something beyond your control, here are some ways to deal with it:
Don’t compare yourself with others
This is a big one. In today’s age of social media, it is easy how everyone else is having a wonderful time with fantastic holidays while you are having a difficult time coping with yours. If you find that scrolling social media is making you angry, resentful, or sad, remind yourself that nothing is ever as it seems on the internet. No one is perfect, and everyone is dealing with their own stiff. Then take a break from social media for a few days and know that things will get better for you.
Consider spending the holidays with friends
Spending the holidays with a family other than your own can be a great way to have a wonderful time during the holidays. You might think that it isn’t right to put anyone out during this time, but most people would be happy to welcome a friend into their home. In the end, you’ll end up having a great time, meeting new people, and fostering a much stronger friendship.
Being alone during the holidays is no excuse not to celebrate. Wallowing in self-pity and loneliness can quickly make a bad situation worse. So try to get festive alone just as you would if you had company around. If it’s Christmas time, get a tree and decorate it. It might not be as fun as it would have been if you were doing it with others, but you’ll get to have a good time nonetheless. If you have certain holiday traditions, honor them alone, and don’t let anything stop you from doing something you enjoy.
It’s better to give than to receive, right? Why not take the opportunity to be charitable during the holidays? It could become your very own holiday tradition. So give to charity, volunteer at the homeless shelter, or buy gifts for needy kids. It’s an amazing feeling!
It is not fair to let your entire worldview be changed by a few bad days. Instead, try to focus on the positive. What are you grateful for in your life? What good things do you have going on for you? Make a list of some of the things you are hopeful for in the new year. No matter how bad things may seem, there’s always a silver lining if you look for it.
If there is one thing you’re going to take away from all this, let it be this: it’s Ok to be sad during the holidays. The most important thing is to accept your situation as it currently is, and know that things will not be that way forever. Understanding this will allow you to enjoy the little things that make you happy during the holidays. As long as you are present and grateful, you’ll get through this difficult period. Good luck!