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Equipped to...Survive the Silly Season - Home Alone
This newsletter draws on Invest in Yourself, a comprehensive article found on my website.
The end of year holiday season is traditionally a time when families make plans to get together. The emphasis is very much on reunions - relatives come from far and wide, spare rooms get made up and more people are squashed around the dining room table.
In the midst of all this family celebration time, it’s not often we stop to think of those people who may not be getting together with loved ones. Some people simply don’t have family with whom to get together. Others don’t have the means to travel to far away relatives, and others may be estranged from their families and no longer welcome at the holiday dinner table.
It’s no co-incidence that the suicide rate increases sharply during the year-end holiday period – when surrounded by people celebrating with loved ones, being alone can simply seem unbearable.
If you are going to be on your own this festive season, there are lots of things you can do to make yourself – and others feel better.
You are not the only person spending the festive season on your own. There will be many people in hospices and old-age homes, for example, who won’t have a single visitor. Pop in and see someone. Take a small gift, or some flowers, and you’ll be amazed at the happiness this simple gesture will bring – for both you and the person you visit. Or volunteer at a shelter or hospital. Seeing others in situations worse than yours will help to put a solo silly season into perspective.
Own Your Alone Time
If you usually work long hours in a stressful job, a couple of days which you can dedicate completely to yourself – guilt-free – is a wonderful present! Spend the day in your pjs, have a long bubble bath with scented candles, catch up on reading books and magazines, write overdue letters and emails, snooze in the afternoon, de-clutter your home…the possibilities are endless and exciting!
Make The Connection
Even if you physically can’t be with family or friends, you can, thanks to the wonders of technology, do the next best thing. Spending 15 uninterrupted minutes catching up with a loved one on Skype or over the phone will boost your mood for a long time afterwards. Research shows that spending time connecting with friends lowers stress levels and helps decrease symptoms associated with depression. Just talking to loved ones can help us feel happier, have more patience, and increase our tolerance for stress.
Get Out And About
If you live in an area where it is possible, and safe to do so, going for a walk or run is a great way to get rid of the blues - and the roads will be virtually empty – a rare treat! Even a brief walk at low intensity can improve mood and increase energy, and as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a positive effect.
Go on Holiday - With Yourself!
If you know in advance that you’re going to be alone over the holidays, book yourself a getaway at a spa, game reserve, chalet in the mountains, cottage at the beach…anywhere YOU want to go. Spend the time getting to know a new place, or revisiting a favourite spot. And if you haven’t planned beforehand, there are always great last minute deals to be had. Airlines vastly reduce the price of tickets if you fly on Christmas day, for example. Take the opportunity to explore somewhere new!
Image by: Randy Robertson
Have something to say?
If you’ve spent the holiday season alone, what did you do to chase away the blues and have a good time instead? I’d love to hear your story.
Watch out for my next newsletter where you will be
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