By Margarita Nahapetyan
Being single around the holiday season can get many people extremely sad and depressed. Everywhere you go, you see other couples doing shopping together or making out in front of shop windows, and when you come home all alone, you understand that you have no one to share the holiday spirit with. That is when you start dwelling on past holidays when you were in a relationship with that one person who meant everything to you, but who is no longer in your life. Contemplating over and over, you can't seem to snap yourself out of the blues.
However, you are not alone. Nearly one out of four households in the United States is a single individual. Many people live alone and the majority of them think that living alone is same as being lonely, and wonder maybe there is something wrong with them that they don't have a partner. So what can be done about it and how can you change your negative attitude towards life during holidays?
Re-consider your expectations. Very often, many of us unrealistically imagine that everyone else has the best time of their lives during holiday season - families and friends having fun and spending time happily together. However, in reality everything is a lot less idyllic. There are lots of people out there who do not have a partner, who are divorced, unhappily married, or widowed. And those who are happily married might have serious health conditions or family members who need their extensive help, they might be experiencing financial problems, or major conflicts with family and friends. Thinking about all this will not help changing your own life and will not make your situation better, but it can definitely help you feel less isolated or different from all other people around you.
Do not forget that holidays are about celebrating peace and love. The season is best celebrated by helping those you care for, as well as giving to charities and people in need. If you do not feel comfortable pretending being happy and joyful while spending time with family or friends, you can celebrate the holidays by volunteering your time at a shelter, food bank, nursing home, or any other place that will gladly use your help and assistance. Lots of organizations are looking for volunteers this time of year, and offering them your help will not only lift your spirits, but will also give you an opportunity to meet with new people.
Adjust your attitude. No matter how hard or even impossible it might seem to have a normal life after a painful breakup, it is crucial to have one. Psychologists say that life is supposed to be juicy and fun, and therefore, you must embrace your personhood, and not your relationship status. If you are too depressed, if you lost interest in almost everything around you, including your hobbies, novel interactions and new activities, and think that only a romantic partner will bring you back to life, then, according to professionals, it is time to start seriously thinking about being emotionally mature and interactionally interesting. "Offer potential partners light-heartedness, passionate engagement with life, and a willingness to learn the dance steps of intimacy. That combination is practically irresistible," says David Shern, President and CEO of Mental Health America.
Take care of yourself. While being single can be emotionally depressing, it does provide you with a chance to think about your own wellness. Unwinding yourself helps you decrease stress levels and improves your mental health. Try to become more physically active, start meditating, engaging in a hobby or talking to positive people. It is your time, so you must spend it doing something you really like and enjoy. This is very critical because mental health is very tightly linked to our overall health and wellbeing. And when you feel good, you will start looking good, and that will help your attitude stay positive - and make you more attractive to potential partners.
Nobody says that it is easy being single during the holiday season. Neither it is easy to suddenly change your attitudes and conditioning. However, if there is a little effort and desire, everything is quite possible, and starting right away, before all the holiday fuss begins, will make it a bit easier. And you never know, maybe, if you are able to change your attitude and approach the situation with a happy and healthy attitude, you might meet that special one under the mistletoe!