Holidays – Alone, Apart, & Anxious Continued. . . .
Sharing Time With Others – So you’ve had your time to yourself. Now, consider how much time alone is best for you. At what point will you start to get lonely? It might be two days or maybe a week. Whatever it is, be honest with yourself about your personal limit. Make plans to be around other people when that alone-time limit comes. There are many activities to do and places to go where you can share the holiday spirit with others. Here are some ideas:
- Volunteer. If it’s holiday traditions you want, forget shopping and parties. Return to the real holiday tradition by helping others. When you volunteer, you can expect two big rewards. First, you’ll be surrounded by people – by volunteers and staff who share your spirit of giving and by those you are helping. Never will someone be more grateful for a gift. Second, it’s good for the soul. Helping others in need is fulfilling, and takes your mind off of your own stuff.
- Consider canine company. Although it may seem like an unusual idea, create your own company by offering to dog sit for friends who are going out of town. Of course, this will only work if you actually like dogs, and if you’re familiar with their dog in particular. You’ll be doing both them and yourself an enormous favor. A dog can be great company on a long winter’s night. And, who knows who you might meet? Dog walkers are usually a friendly bunch.
- Extend invitations, and be proactive. Call up other people who might be on their own and arrange a holiday dinner, agreeing to split the meal preparation duties. Lots of singles look forward to their “orphans’ Christmas” each year, celebrating with old friends and new ones. Don’t assume that everyone you know will be busy throughout the holidays. Even if they have family commitments, they still might welcome the opportunity to escape to spend some time with you.
- Do something with friends. This may seem obvious, but many people don’t think of it. Most of us have been conditioned to think of holidays as time for family only. We’re not used to thinking of this as a time to gather with friends. Change that. If you’re on your own, a few friends might be, too. Get in touch with them, and make some plans.
So, there you have it. If you’re going to be alone for this holiday season, make it a good one. Take advantage of what it can bring you: a chance for some quality person al time, and a chance to get out, meet some new people and help those in need. Enjoy!
The return of magical Christmas adverts and movies to our television screens are the modern-day herald of the festive spirit. For many, though, it can spell the start of a difficult season.
Click the links below to find tips on how to cope with the holiday season whether you are alone, deciding where to spend Christmas or separated couples:
At AFC, we spend a great deal of time focusing on how to help couples, relationships and marriages improve and flourish. And, the holidays are a time that we are bombarded with messages about being with our loved ones. But what is that’s not possible? Maybe you’re single, divorced, separated from your family or grieving a loved one.
In this month’s blog…we try and give you tips and ideas on how to spend the holidays a bit differently- if you are alone, separated from loved ones or grieving lost relationships, filling up the time between Thanksgiving and New Years can be really difficult. Pass this along to anyone that you think might benefit from a fresh perspective of the holiday season, be compassionate with yourself and others and know that the holidays are a difficult time for many people.
Well I don’t know about you, but I have NO idea where this year has gone- I swear I was just writing the New Year’s message just yesterday. The holidays are here (like it or not!) and the next 4 weeks will be full of rushing around, spending too much money, bickering with loved ones and stressing out. Do I sound like a Scrooge? I’m really not- but the holidays can bring out either the best or worst in all of us, depending on how you handle things. In this month’s issue of Healthy Relationships, I try and give you some ideas of how to really enjoy the holidays again- bring back the feeling of magic that a holiday should be. Remember, you are in control of what you do, think and feel- and that includes the right to say “No” when needed. Don’t forget that the idea of a “traditional” family has changed for many of us- and with it the old routines and expectations that we had. Read here for my latest interview with the Albuquerque Journal on what makes the holidays great in blended families. Above all- try and take care of yourself and the New Year will be here soon!
The holidays are stressful for many people, but can be especially so for blended families. Unique families require unique solutions to their problems, so here are some tips to help navigate the holiday season and still have some good cheer.
- Communication and planning- think of the entire holiday season, not just a couple of days. That will give you the opportunity to spread out the events so that all family members can participate. Consider that the days leading up to and after the holiday can be a part of the festivities.
- Communicate with all family members well before the holiday, to try and avoid any last minute changes. Families and children get along better when they know what to expect, as much as possible. Be flexible on time but strict on communications.
- Start your own traditions and rituals, blending some of the old with new. Have each child bring one idea that was meaningful to them, into the new family. Make time for all the children’s ideas to be a part of the new family tradition.
- Put aside your ill feelings towards your ex and model some good behavior for your own children- adhere to the custody agreements, help your children with picking out gifts for their other parents and decorations for the other house. This will help them feel more in control of the situation, and give them a sense of belonging.
- Do something different from the usual- try having appetizers and finger food instead of a full sit down dinner, open presents three days before Christmas, plan a craft or game instead of the usual movie. Being different will create a sense of fun and energy.
And if things seem to be falling apart, remember two things:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff- life is not perfect and the holiday won’t be either, so try and relax
- It will get easier with time- as the years pass you will have more traditions that you can count on.
Have a good Christmas!
Kelly Chicas 2011