It’s not easy being single during the holiday season. Between couples canoodling at cocktail parties, intrusive questions about your love life (or lack thereof) from well-meaning family members and midnight kisses on New Year’s Eve, the romantically unattached may feel like hibernating until January 2nd. It can be even more difficult if you’re newly single. But experts say there are plenty of ways to boost your solo spirit. “Don’t think about the holidays as something painful you have to ‘get through,’” says Elaine Rodino, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in State College, PA. “Know how to have fun regardless of whether you’re part of a couple.” Here’s how to manage your expectations, handle the holiday hype and emerge unscathed.
1. Create new traditions. If you’ve recently gone through a breakup, separation or divorce, you probably associate certain memories with your ex. Don’t recreate them. “Experiencing holidays the old way can be painful,” says Jennifer J. Harman, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. “Instead, look for new ways to celebrate that won’t remind you of the relationship.” If you’ve always cooked a ham, for example, try a turkey. Bake a different Thanksgiving dessert this year. Find a new neighborhood to visit for holiday lights on Christmas Eve—or scratch that tradition entirely and go to the movies.
2. Decline invitations that make you uncomfortable. Women who thrive on socializing will enjoy almost any event despite their single status, says Dr. Harman. But if you’re introverted or feeling especially down and out, “just tell party hosts you have other plans,” says Dr. Harman. Or if you’re worried a dinner will be full of couples, ask the host outright if you’ll be the only single person, recommends Carol Goldberg, PhD, a psychologist and host and producer of the cable TV show Dr. Carol Goldberg and Company. Try: “I’m glad you invited me, but I’m not comfortable in that type of setting right now.” Your friend will understand. “The last thing you want is to be at a place where everyone has a partner but you,” says San Diego–based dating coach DeAnna Lorraine. Too shy to ask about the guest list? Scrutinize the invitation for clues or check out last year’s event photos online.
3. If there’s a chance you’ll have fun, go to the party. “When you’re only a little sad, the best medicine is to get out and be with friends,” says Dr. Rodino. Don’t obsess about not being part of a couple; partners don’t stay connected at the hip at a party, anyway. “Just as they mingle and chat all night long, so can you,” says Dr. Rodino. And if the event is a drag, you can always leave. “People have so many obligations around the holidays—it’s totally acceptable to party hop,” says Dr. Goldberg.
4. Make new friends (not just men). Another advantage to accepting invitations: You never know whom you’ll meet. But Dr. Goldberg cautions against setting yourself up for disappointment. “Whatever the event, it should be something you enjoy for the sake of the activity itself, not for making a romantic connection,” she says. And that starts with a positive attitude. “View it as an opportunity to meet new girlfriends,” says Dr. Goldberg, admitting that it doesn’t hurt if they have brothers, cousins or single friends.
5. Plan your own party. Take it upon yourself to host a gathering, whether it’s a girls-only tree-trimming or a co-ed potluck brunch, says Dr. Goldberg. Or throw a cocktail mixer. “Make it a ‘Calling All Singles’ party and hire entertainment—an acoustic singer, a wine connoisseur, even a stripper if you’re bold,” says Lorraine. “It should be an event that wouldn’t necessarily appeal to people in a relationship or with families.”
6. Relish your single hood. Rely on other single friends for activity ideas; they know how to have a good time. If you’re recovering from a breakup, think back about the hobbies you used to enjoy that you didn’t have time for during the relationship, says Dr. Rodino. Reclaim your former passions and interests—you weren’t born part of a couple. Most importantly, “Get your flirt on!” urges Lorraine. Check online dating sites for singles parties and speed-dating events between now and New Year’s—it’s a popular time for new romance.
7. Get out of town. “Go somewhere for yourself, but not by yourself,” says Dr. Harman. Take a ski trip with a girlfriend who’s willing to make new memories with you. If you can swing it, says Lorraine, try to go over New Year’s Eve. “Splurge on a cruise, or go to a super-fun place like Las Vegas or Hawaii,” she says. “That way you have something to look forward to throughout the season.”
8. Decide how you’ll answer tough questions at gatherings. “Plan ahead so you don’t get hit with an inquiry that makes you feel alone, abandoned or sad,” says Dr. Rodino. This is especially important for events that you used to attend with a partner, since people will naturally wonder why your ex isn’t with you. Rehearse a concise, neutral comment: “I’m single these days,” or “It didn’t work out.” Avoid judgment, anger or hostility, which can make others uncomfortable.
9. Remember that when your family pries, it’s because they love you. Unfortunately, women are more stigmatized when not paired up, says Dr. Harman. “There’s a public misperception that marriage makes everything better, and that all spouses are happier and healthier than singletons,” she says. Reassure older folks who think women need men for survival by saying, “I appreciate your concern, but I’m doing well and can take care of myself without a partner’s help.” Or, “While I’m interested in meeting someone, I’d rather wait than rush into a relationship that’s not quite right.”
10. Be selfish. Take the cash you would’ve used on a gift for a partner and spend it on yourself. “Use the opportunity between now and New Year’s to upgrade your life,” says Lorraine. Start a new fitness routine, get a mini-makeover or go on a shopping spree. “Take control by doing something that lifts your spirits and makes you feel beautiful,” she says. Make the season all about you—and get a solid start on the New Year.
Article Credit Women’s Day
Stop Giving Away Your Personal Power Through Blaming and When you blame others or events for how you feel, you give your power to them. You’re saying they control your thoughts, emotions, and subsequent words and actions. How’s that worked for you so far?
Do not give away your power ladies
It was a combination of things: too many days that were too active, various more-than-usual stresses each day, and a need for rest and sleep that led to my being more easily annoyed than I anticipated or appreciated. The more tired, exhausted, or overwhelmed we are, the easier it is to fall into this mode. The next thing I knew, I was off balance. I kept replaying the moments and conversations that had annoyed me over and over in my mind, and that annoyed me, too.
That’s a vortex that a number of us tend to go into, or can, when we need to look out for our best interests or take better care of ourselves on all levels. Something I know but temporarily forget (especially when I’m annoyed) is that, yes, a person or an event may trigger me, but after that initial trigger, everything I think, feel, say, and do is mine and only mine. I’m responsible for it, no one else.
There’s a positive aspect to this, though: It brought several things to my attention. For one, complaining and blaming absolutely does lead us to feel as though our personal power has diminished in some way; only, it isn’t anything or anyone external to us who diminishes our power—only we can do that, because our personal power is within every visible and non-visible atom of our being. (Actually, our personal power never diminishes. We can only convince ourselves to believe that it does.) Feeling dis empowered adds even more bad feelings into the mix. We can usually directly address what or who has triggered us, and hopefully do so in a constructive, productive manner. However, it also feels bad when, for whatever reason, we don’t address issues in this manner and instead let our annoyance fester inside us.
There will always be situations we can’t control, but we can always control how we manage ourselves through and beyond them. There will always be people who, even after we speak with them, won’t alter their behaviors, but we can manage how we engage with them, as well as what we take on of theirs as ours. We can always find a way to restore belief in our personal power. A sure way to start on this path is to stop blaming and complaining. But that feels hard to do at times. So, what can we do to put our mental feet on this path?
Get off the topic. Seriously. When your thoughts of annoyance continue to loop through your mind, do something that requires your complete focus so you get your mind off topic like read or watch a movie. Do anything that holds your attention fully for an extended period of time. This isn’t avoidance; this is a way to start to re-balance your energy and perspective.
Let’s face it. If something gets addressed or even resolved, but not in the way you prefer, or if you aren’t able to resolve it and you now have to deal with how you feel about that, you want to re-energize your personal power as quickly and easily as you can. Putting your focus elsewhere can help you do that for a while. Get off topic until you can approach whatever or whoever it is that has upset you, with less emotional charge. You will not be constructive or productive if you’re an emotional mess. You’ll also attract more of the same experiences and become even more of a mess. Then, not only will you be upset about the original matter but also with yourself, even if your ego-aspect insists you blame someone or something else for how you feel, other than your personal perspective and choices.
Here’s something to keep in mind: The Universe cannot yield to you anything different than what you feel about yourself. Abraham-Hicks said that, and it makes sense. If you’re inclined to argue with this, pause and consider your life experiences and the basic tone or theme of them. This is also why you want to do whatever it takes to restore your awareness of your personal power: to shift the tone or theme your life has taken on as a result of being out of balance emotionally. In balance and in personal power is what you want your frequency, your transmitted attracting vibration, to be.
Another powerful statement Abraham-Hicks suggested we make whenever anything negative or even positive happens is this: My point of attraction equals that. When anything positive or negative happens, pause and make that statement and see the truth of it. If you don’t like your point of attraction, shift it. Complaining or blaming won’t do that for you. In fact, you can even back up a bit and consider whether you were blaming or complaining before the latest event happened.
That’s what happened with me. And it’s a cause-and-effect pattern I’m well aware of after all these years, and I still sabotage myself with it from time to time. It’s as though there’s a realistic spiritual limit to how much, for how long, and in what manner we are able to vent before that “glass” fills and spills over into blame and complain and creates a mess in our attraction energy fields. At least, that’s been my experience. Once I remembered this, I was annoyed with myself about this as well, but then let that go and replaced it with appreciation that apparently (or so I prefer to believe) this was a path I needed to travel in order to re-mind myself of this Truth. Yet again.
When we allow our mind and emotions to become scrambled by annoyances, we become servants, so to speak, of the annoyance energies and of whomever or whatever we blame for “causing” us to feel them. We mentally and emotionally disconnect from our higher selves and our personal power during such times, and this is why perceived dis empowerment feels so bad. We feel alone and fragile. We feel in mental and emotional pain, weak rather than strong, ineffectual rather than creative and innovative.
The way to shift this is to remember we are more, that we are always more than how we appear to ourselves, and others, in any given moment that we feel dis empowered. We can reclaim our personal power the instant we cease to feel, think, say, or do anything that is opposite of personal power. We might even follow the “Ask and it is given” philosophy with this statement: Let there be Light here. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at http://stateofappreciation.weebly.com