As we age, the holidays may become increasingly difficult to face alone. Our children may have moved away, or our partners may have passed away. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up on the holidays. With a little bit of planning and some creativity, it’s possible to make the holidays enjoyable, even when we’re spending them alone. Here are 15 ways to get through the holidays on your own.
Volunteer at a Local Shelter or Food Bank
Giving back to your community can help lift your spirits during the holiday season. There are volunteers needed in many establishments as people look for shelter due to the weather, and that means that they’ll need some food, too.
Go On a Trip
Sometimes, being in a new environment can help take your mind off of your loneliness and provide a new sense of adventure. Explore a new spot, visit a friend who lives far away, or just enjoy traveling solo for a new experience.
Host a Potluck Dinner
Invite friends, neighbors, and acquaintances over for a holiday feast. Everyone can pitch in with a dish and share in the festivities. Cooking and hosting will give you a lot of satisfaction and will keep you entertained and happy for the holidays.
Create Your Own Traditions
Maybe you always wanted to decorate your house in a certain way or cook a special meal. Maybe you’re musically talented and haven’t picked up the guitar in a long time or sat by the piano. The holidays are a great time to start new traditions that make you happy.
Treat Yourself to a Nice Meal Out
Go to your favorite restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal without the hassle of cooking or cleaning up. Pick your favorite meals, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the best dessert.
Join a Local Senior Center or Community Center
Many of these organizations offer special holiday events and activities for seniors, such as art or cooking classes, games and movie nights.
Watch a Classic Movie
Cuddle up with a classic holiday film like It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. You could do a holiday movie marathon and watch your favorites.
Participate in Online Communities
Join online forums or social media groups where you can connect with others who may also be spending the holidays alone. You can have fun while meeting new people that perhaps you can stay in touch with after the holidays.
Take Part in a Religious Service
Attend a holiday service and connect with others who share your faith. This will make you feel fulfilled and in peace.
Teach Yourself a New Skill
Whether it’s knitting, painting, or learning a new language, keeping your mind active and engaged can help fight feelings of loneliness. You could easily get lost in knitting or painting and totally forget the time.
Listen to Festive Music
Play your favorite holiday tunes and sing along. Music has a way of lifting our spirits and improving our mood. Dance around your house and look for different playlists to cheer you up.
Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
Relax and unwind with a massage or facial. Take a bath and use delicious smelling bath bombs, a rich oil to moisturize your skin, some bubbles, and drink a nice tea or glass or wine.
Take a Walk
Get some fresh air and enjoy the holiday decorations in your neighborhood. Why not call up a friend or grab your neighbor and visit different neighborhoods and see all the lovely Christmas lights and decorations on the houses? You can make this a new yearly tradition, too.
Write Letters to Loved Ones
Reconnect with old friends and family members by writing heartfelt letters to let them know you’re thinking of them. Many of us lose touch with old friends, so this would be a great time to reach out and say, “Hi, I’m thinking of you and hope you have a wonderful Christmas.” Who knows? You may just rekindle an old friendship at the same time.
Take some time to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Write down a list of things you’re thankful for, and focus on the positive things in your life. When we’re grateful for the things we do have, we forget the things we don’t have, or they seem less important. And Christmas is a great time of year to reflect on all the blessings we have in our lives.
While it can be challenging to spend the holidays alone, there are many ways to make the holidays enjoyable and fulfilling. Whether it’s volunteering, hosting a potluck, or taking a trip, there are many ways to create new memories and traditions during the holidays. Remember to take care of yourself, stay engaged and connected with others, and focus on the positive things in your life. Happy holidays!
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