Do you ever feel like the adult mixed-up version of Elf On The Shelf? Does it seem like you have been propped up somewhere in the corner where people see you, maybe even watch you, but never truly interact with you? Like everyone talks at you, has expectations and opinions, but then come and go with their lives leaving you alone, waiting and watching from the sidelines? Bah SIM Bug! My Hopefuls, I understand it can be difficult to go through the holiday season alone.
Whether you have been single a long time, or just found yourself recently unattached; watching Christmas unfold can heighten your loneliness. From research, many SIMs (Single In Midlife) have a harder time during the Christmas holiday season than even Valentine’s Day. The lights, music, parties; everything just seems a bit more magical and romantic.
I have spent many holiday seasons single and I would like to use this post today to encourage you to embrace your status and embrace all the beautiful and fun times you can still have. I want to share some tips to help get your Self OFF The Shelf and out enjoying the holidays!
Don’t Dwell Too Long On Hallmark Movies. I know, I know, boos all around. Most everyone I talk to just loves Hallmark Christmas movies and I understand I’m in the minority here. I am not suggesting they cannot be watched and enjoyed, but don’t spend all your time curled up on the couch wrapped in your cozy blanket to live vicariously through a movie written to have a fairy tale happy ending. I want you to get out and create your own happy ending; unscripted!
Get Your Party On! When in a relationship, celebrations must be divided into his/her work parties, family get togethers, social functions. As a SIM, you get to pick whatever event YOU want to attend. Maybe you want to go to a special church service, a local tree lighting, or even a tacky sweater party; or all three and then some! It doesn’t matter, because you do not have to align your schedule or likes with anyone else. You are free to enjoy the festivities on your terms and timetable. If you are reluctant to go alone, enlist another single friend to go with you. I do want to encourage you though, to not let going alone stop you. I understand it can feel intimidating to walk into a venue by yourself and integrate into the gathering, but if there is an activity that you truly want to do, please consider pushing through the discomfort. Once you are there, enjoying the event you will be proud of yourself for not letting your single status slow you down!
Reach Out. Please know there are so many others out there struggling during this time of year. Almost every organization that provides help to individuals need extra hands during the holidays. Volunteer at a shelter, food back or through a church. Visit a local nursing home or senior center and bring treats, or just sit and talk to someone. So many residents there get little or no visits/attention during the holidays. You can make a big difference with just a little bit of your time and heart.
Don’t Reach Out To Your Ex. Christmas time brings with it a flood of memories, and as humans, we tend to remember more of the good ones. It can be tempting to call/text your ex just to see how they are doing and wish them a Merry Christmas. In most cases, this is a bad idea. If you are on good terms, or have minor children still involved, obviously you will need to communicate. That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about looking backwards at an unhealthy relationship and feeling a pull to reconnect. Don’t. It is only the sentiment of the season putting those thoughts in your head, and you need to shut them down. If you decided to walk away from an unhealthy partner, or you were discarded and hurt by an insensitive one, there is absolutely no reason to go there. The wounds will just be reopened and no amount of holiday spirit can undo that.
Enjoy Your Family/Friends. It is true, not everyone has a Christmas Card family. Sometimes, part of being alone, is distancing ourselves from unhealthy relationships that can be attached by a DNA thread, but ‘family’ does not always have to be ‘blood’. Choose to spend time and celebrate the season with those that mean the most to you. Travel, if you can, to see them. Reconnect with old friends. Slow down and spend quality time with those around you who have been there for you and understand your value and worth. Surround yourself with love because it comes in many forms and expressions.
Appreciate. You are blessed. I know I am too. We all should use this season to reflect on the blessings and beautiful life that we have been given. Is it perfect? No. Do we still struggle? Yes. But gratitude and appreciation go a long way to restoring our peace and happiness. Dwelling on what the lost, or how we were hurt, will not have a positive impact. Sometimes bad things just happen and people betray and abandon us. I am truly sorry if that happened to you. However, I also truly believe there is still so much beauty and good in your life and in your heart. That thought is what I am asking you to embrace today, this season and all the coming days moving forward.
If you were dreading this single holiday season, I hope something within this post helped to lift your spirits and motivate you. Please do not be a Self On The Shelf of your life. Get out there and be the very best version of YOU!
Christmas is a time for giving, loving, sharing, reflecting and most importantly to acknowledge and honor the best gift ever presented to mankind: Love coming down from heaven in human form – The Christ Child.
Have Yourself A Very Merry Single Christmas!
Hope With Abandon!