The holidays are ringing in, and those special occasions with family and friends are right around the corner, or so you may think. In 2020, “one in nine (11%) Americans spent the December holidays by themselves and one in six (16%) spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day alone.” Of those surveyed, about a half spent the holidays with family, and about a third with others outside of family. This data points out some important things to think through.

It is not a given that everyone will have someone to celebrate the holidays with, which can make this time of year rather blue.

The holiday blues are feelings of sadness, angst, fatigue, tension, emptiness, or loneliness caused by temporary anxiety or depression this time of year. The “extra stress, unrealistic expectations, or even sentimental memories that accompany the season can be a catalyst for the holiday blues.” Moreover, social demands and consumerist tendencies of modern American culture can create a wedge between those who have loved ones to celebrate with and buy for this time of year, and those who don’t. Simply, the holiday blues can hit anyone, but especially those riding through the holidays solo.

The good news is that celebrating the holidays alone doesn’t mean that you have to be lonely. In fact, the company you keep this holiday season may be your favorite company to have. That’s YOU! So, here are some quick-tips to help you make this holiday season a #soloyo one.

H‍ow to have a #soloyolo holiday.

‍Invite a friend.

It is easy to get caught up in your own plans and forget about your friends without loved ones nearby. However, now more than ever, can be the perfect time to consider putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. The National Alliance for Mental Illness found that 68% of individuals who already suffer from mental illness say that the holidays make their condition worse. Whether this is caused by thoughts of losing a loved one, a recent breakup, distance from close family and friends, or something even more compound, the holidays can be tough for your single friends. So, extend an invite, or if you are the friend, remember you are not imposing by joining a social group or friend for the holidays.

Plate with some culture and customs.

Not only is hosting an excellent opportunity to connect with those that you have a great fondness for, but it is also a time to shed light on the different beliefs, cultures, and values in the melting pot that is America. If you are among the 14% or 44.9 million American immigrants, you have a unique chance to shed light on your approach to this season. By hosting a party, you can impart knowledge and expose those in your life to your customs and traditions, which in turn reinforces who you are in this new world. LEARN MORE about surviving the holidays as an immigrant.

‍Celebrate the simple life.

According to the American Psychological Association, the added stress of holiday obligations and responsibilities, like shopping, planning, working, cooking, attending, etc., can leave people feeling like there is little time or space to relax. A survey found that women specifically experience an increased “likelihood that they will turn to unhealthy behaviors like using food to deal with stress (41%) or drinking alcohol (28%).” By observing others, you can be reminded that a slower pace can actually be a present to your present moment. So take some time to put your feet up and treat yourself to a little TLC this holiday.

‍Give to others.

Unlike other times of the year, the holidays can certainly open your eyes to all the things that you have that others may not. It is easy to take for granted the simple things, like reliable transportation, a guaranteed meal on your plate, or even your health and wellbeing. There is a lot to be grateful for this time of year. So take a moment to understand the blessing you do have and extend a helping hand to those less fortunate. Whether you volunteer at a local soup kitchen, offer to purchase some gifts for a friend’s family, or donate some warm clothing to a homeless shelter, the gift of giving is always said to give back more.

‍Go on an unforgettable adventure.

Being alone does not have to mean that you are lonely. In fact, “being alone can be a very positive thing for your mental health and can provide people with the opportunity to explore their passions in their own leisurely way.” The holidays can be the perfect time to push beyond the fear and give yourself the gift of getting to know the most important person in your life, YOU. So whether you have wanted to try a solo hike, camp, travel, or some other life-changing experience, embrace the adventure for a holiday that will go down in your personal history book.

‍Talk to someone.

The mentality that you must endure or muddle through your struggles and obstacles is out of date. Sharing with friends, family, or even an expert what you are experiencing can allow you the opportunity to healthily process your experiences. Furthermore, social support can improve relationships, help you gain new perspectives, and enhance your coping skills for the future. Remember, talking to others is totally normal no matter the time of year.

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