How to be a Happy Single During the Holidays
By Elizabeth Barrera
Let’s be real. Being single during the holidays can be rough. Especially because as we scroll down our social media pages, we continue to see more and more people getting engaged, disgustingly cute couple photos by the Christmas tree, and to make matters worse, we’re stuck taking those pictures half of the time. Everybody rubs their perfect relationship in our faces, but nobody tells us how to get our tias to shut up when continuously asking about our dating life, whether or not to text the guy we’ve been in a situationship with in what seems like forever, or how many glasses of spiked cider constitute as alcoholism. Being single while surrounded by people in loving relationships can be a downer, but there’s hope! As a woman in her 20-somethings (who also fits the description above almost perfectly), I too, have sulked in the thought of what the holidays will be like this year. And even though the holidays, Christmas especially, are my most favorite time of the year, I still find myself faced by an almost empty feeling at the end of the night. No matter your [single] situation, remaining positive in light of it all is what’s most important, especially if we focus on being grateful instead. So rather than taking that fourth shot of tequila and avoiding your overbearing and nosy tia, I urge you to do this instead:
Enjoy the presence of your family. You may not have the love of a significant other but you do get to surround yourself by amazing company: your family. They may nag you about your personal life and get too involved in it also, but they only care about you and your well-being. Take some time to appreciate them. Giggle with your annoying tia and maybe change the conversation by asking her how she's doing.
Acknowledge what you’re feeling. You don’t need to force yourself to be happy if you’re not. But letting go of what you’re feeling begins by you acknowledging that something isn’t right. Talk to a friend, a family member, or even your dog and let them know how you feel. Once you voice your emotions and put everything out in the air, there’s more room left for happiness and less for sadness. Talk about it. Then...Let. That. Shit. Go.
Make someone else happy. Donating your time to those in need will make you both feel good. Visit a local hospital and read to the elderly. Make goodie bags for the homeless. Or even better, invite a homeless person to your family dinner. Do something selfless this holiday season and aim to put a smile on somebody else's face. Performing an act of kindness will most likely bring a smile to your face, too!
Count your blessings. Not everyone is lucky to spend another holiday with their loved ones, nor is everyone lucky enough to spend it with people in general. Some are stuck in the hospital, sick and dying. Others are forgotten in retirement homes, spending the day with strangers. And many others don’t even have a place to call home. If you don’t have to check-mark one of these, then please take a second to be grateful for everything you do have.
The holidays can definitely be a rough encounter, but they’ll be everything you make it out to be. What we feel begins with where our mindset stands. If we allow ourselves to be filled with negativity, then all we’ll be left with is sadness. If we decide to let love in and appreciate all the little things we’re blessed with, then it’ll be easier for us to see that we, in fact, do have many things to be thankful for. Being single during the holidays can be a bummer, but we shouldn’t let it consume us, nor should we sulk in the empty feeling it leaves behind. Next time you scroll through social media, remember, there’s always someone who is doing far better and far worse than you are. Being single doesn’t define you, and perhaps a relationship right now isn’t the perfect moment. Be patient, be happy, and embrace the holiday spirits. Give love and be appreciative of what you have. Because you don't know when you're going to lose it.