Festive and Independent: How to Relish Being Single During the Holidays

A man sitting alone in a chair by a Christmas tree

The most important takeaway of this blog post would be: “Your relationship status doesn’t define who you are or how you experience peace of mind and joy”. This is easy to understand conceptually, but harder to remember in practice. Whether you’ve recently come out of a long-term relationship, single by choice, or lost a partner here are some tips to help you put yourself at ease: 

1. Remember that you’re not really alone (literally and figuratively) 

There is nothing wrong with choosing yourself during the holidays. There’s a lot of pressure around the holidays at the end of the year as folks tend to reflect on how much they’ve achieved their goals. Between family gatherings, hallmark-style holiday rom-coms, engagement announcements, and gift advertising, it can begin to feel like you’re the only one who is single during the holiday season. It can be helpful to remember that being single doesn’t have to mean being alone. Your relationship status doesn’t have to come with loneliness. In fact, you’re not even alone in feeling alone. A report from Harvard says that 61% of young adults and 51% of mothers with young children—feel serious loneliness. This means that you’re not the only person who might be feeling lonely and reaching out to others around you might help them to feel more connected as well. 

2. Find Your Fandom 

It’s okay to crave community. Humans are generally social creatures, you don’t need an intimate partner to spend time with others. Reach out to your loved ones and plan activities like dinners and outings to keep you engaged and connected. Consider hosting a holiday movie night or dinner to fill your space with positive memories. Pick up the phone, send a text message, share a meme, or even write a thread on Reddit.

3. Date yourself 

Lean into the discomfort of going solo and take the opportunity to do what you want. Having independence can also mean not having to compromise or consider the needs of others when making plans. Give yourself permission to do things you enjoy on your own like trying something new, or going out to a new restaurant, or considering traveling somewhere you’ve always wanted to go to, taking a drive up the coast, and doing whatever you want. 

4. Get out of your Bubble

Much of what gives us worry about our current state is the feeling of being trapped in our own life circumstances. One way to break this mold is to try something new like giving back. Spending time volunteering or being of service to others can be incredibly rewarding and fill up your social energy cup.

5. Set healthy boundaries 

A hard part of the holidays is fielding questions from acquaintances, work colleagues, or your family. If you’ve had a hard year, you don’t have to explain your pain. Your relationship status, reasons for staying single, and relational history belong to you. You don’t owe anyone an explanation of your choices and your timeline.

6. Gratitude is Gravity

Part of the magic of the holiday is that time slows down when you’re celebrating with your family and loved ones. There typically is a lot of planning in anticipation of these days off, and living through them - time feels slower. It’s very easy to use this extra time to fixate on lost opportunities, unrequited loves, and/or hypotheticals about what could have been. These hypotheticals pull us away from reality. Taking time to focus on what you’re thankful for helps ground you in the here and now. 

7. Rearrange your room

One way to get out of a funk is to change your environment to allow yourself to make new associations. This might be a literal way of changing your perspective

8. Schedule time with your therapist (or find one!) 

Having a trained professional ready to help you evaluate your thought patterns might be the best breath of fresh air for you to reflect on your relationships, identify past patterns, or find the best way to deal with anxiety when the future feels so uncertain. If you're already seeing a therapist , and you're wondering if your therapist might be a good fit, or if you feel like you're not making enough progress the Rising Anchor Blog has some great resources for you. And if you're not sure about therapy, you may be wondering that if you handle most of your problems on your own, then why do you need therapy in the first place

By reframing this time and space as being special just for yourself, you can focus on strengthening your connection to the one relationship that will 100% be with you until the end…you.

The holidays can be a challenging time for anyone, especially in the midst of holiday themed movies (which aren’t always real or healthy) and intrusive questions from other people. Being single during the holidays doesn’t have to be isolating or sad. By reframing this time and space as being special just for yourself, you can focus on strengthening your connection to the one relationship that will 100% be with you until the end…you.

December 11, 2022
December 17, 2023
 Published by: 
Shannon Williams