By Rose Haywood
Whether you’re a lifelong bachelor or you’re looking for love, the holidays can be tough if you’re not in a relationship. You’ve got distant relatives wondering loudly when (or if) you’re ever going to get married. The TV lineup is full of romantic comedies with happy, mistletoe-laden endings. And it seems like every other post on your newsfeed is a cheesy holiday proposal. Seriously – another snowman holding an engagement ring? Sometimes, it seems like the holidays are made for people in relationships – and that they’re conspiring against everyone who’s not. But just because you’re single doesn’t mean that your Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or New Year) has to be blue. Follow these tips to stay full of cheer this holiday season, no matter your relationship status.
Nip prying questions in the bud
It’s the most dreaded parts of the holidays: endless questions about whether you’re dating anyone, why you’re not married, and when you’re going to have kids. It’s enough to make even your favorite holiday foods taste bad.
The best way to nip prying questions in the bud – and still enjoy family gatherings? Come up with a polite-but-firm answer that ends the conversation and prevents further questions. Just say, “Hey Grandma, I’m not dating anyone right now, but I’m enjoying my job/ friends/ new apartment a lot! Thanks for asking!” Then, change the subject or walk away.
Start fun holiday traditions with friends
Picking out a Christmas tree. Decorating the house. Having a holiday movie marathon, complete with hot chocolate. Sure, it’s fun to do all that with a significant other. But it can be just as fun (if not more) to do it with your best friends.
Get a group of friends together (bonus points if they’re single, too) and start your own holiday traditions. Host a cookie or ornament exchange. Organize a Secret Santa at work. Plan a holiday cocktail party. Pick out a tree, real or fake, and invite friends over to decorate. And take advantage of holiday events in your city. This time of year, there are a lot of festivals and seasonal events like tree lightings and parades – they’re always entertaining, and often free.
Put down the phone
This tip can help fight the blues every day, but it’s especially useful during the holidays. To better enjoy the season, put down the phone. Log out of Facebook and Twitter. Quit checking your email and texts every 5 minutes. Even better? Just turn your devices off for a while.
Living in the now can help you appreciate everything you have to be thankful for during the holidays – something that’s a lot easier when you’re not constantly comparing yourself to the oversharers on your newsfeed. The holiday season is one of the only times you’re surrounded by family, friends and fun activities, so make the most of it and take part.
It’s great to focus on others during the holiday season, whether it’s buying perfect presents for relatives or volunteering for a local charity. But it can be easy, especially this time of year, to forget about someone equally as important – you.
Take a little time out of your busy holiday schedule to do something nice for yourself. Give yourself an early present from your Christmas list. Schedule a massage or a manicure. And treating yourself doesn’t have to cost a lot – if you’re saving money, enjoy a relaxing night at home with a holiday movie or a new video game and takeout from your favorite restaurant.
What are your tips for staying happy during the holidays? Let us know in the comments!
Rose Haywood is an Internet tech writer, admitted social media addict and freelance marketing consultant. She hails proudly from Asheville, NC but resides for the time being right outside of Atlanta, GA. Feel free to reach out to her directly via Twitter.