It’s that time of year when you start hearing about, or seeing on social media, other people’s holiday plans. Are your BFF and their long-time partner planning a romantic New Year’s Eve in Greece? Be super happy for them without an inch of envy because you are about to learn how to make these holidays an amazing time with your best date ever: you.
It’s All about the Mindset
Let’s start from the very beginning: the mindset. You can be in that “grass is always greener on the other side” mindset or you can change it for the Frank Sinatra motto and think “the best is yet to come”. You can choose between being jealous about what you are missing (lacking mindset) or happy with what you have (abundance mindset).
Let me give you an example of this. Last year I went into this downward spiral of failing an exam, feeling lonely, and having to cope with family opinion. I was into this “I’m not enough” moment struggling for a breath of fresh air. Suddenly, my godfather told me I looked pretty in my red Christmas dress and gave me a hug. That very moment it hit me: I was in the lacking mindset. I am a young, healthy woman with a lot to be thankful for.
I switched my mindset and I was no longer on that downward spiral, I was going up like a helium-filled balloon sky-rocketing in springtime. That very holiday season I learned the value of self-love and everything I am about to tell you.
Ready? Buckle up because here we go.
You Come First
You might have heard this a million times and be thinking “oh no, not again.” Well, although the line is thin, being single during the holidays is not about being selfish, but about self-care. Learning self-care is a challenge because there is no formal education for it. They don’t teach us to love ourselves in school and, if we don’t push for it, we might never learn.
Spending holidays alone turn it into a season of self-indulgence. There is nobody to impress, to conform, or to judge you; so take these days to get to know what you truly like. Indulge yourself without any guilt: an extra piece of pie? Sure thing, just unbutton those jeans and hit the gym extra-hard the morning after.
Follow Your Heart, Make Plans
What would you like to do if it all depended on you? Most of us live our lives thinking about what other people like and negotiating. Think of only yourself and ask your heart what is it that you want to do. It can be as crazy and wild as Patagonia or The Himalayas or as cozy and nice as home with the family. The important thing is choosing for and by yourself.
It is a golden ticket to self-discovery (and a lot of fun too!).
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Social (and Adventurous!)
Once you’ve made those fantastic plans, don’t be afraid to let yourself out. It is amazing how much talking to strangers will teach you about yourself. Put yourself into that situation overcoming old fears to be reinvigorated as the person you truly are. Letting go of the limitations of who you think you are and what you are capable of and embracing a new you can be the very first step to self-discovery.
Self-discovery is an entry door for self-care. The more you know about yourself, the easier it is to choose happier paths in life. Also, you will learn to say no, which is a must for a fulfilling future. Here you have the testimony of a 91-year-old grandma about it.
By Yourself But Not Alone
This thought is not only part of many lyrics, but also a huge discovery. Once you understand the difference between these terms you will look at being single during the holidays with different eyes. There are many benefits to being by yourself.
Meet new people — You can meet wonderful new people, potential friends, and relationships while being by yourself. Most of the time they are only a “hello” away.
Make plans on the fly — Last year I met this great group of three friends who invited me to join them to an epic walk in the mountains I had never heard of. If I hadn’t been traveling solo I wouldn’t have met them. We’re still in touch.
Relax & enjoy — Do you feel like doing nothing the entire day? It’s ok, there’s nobody to negotiate with. Enjoying relaxation when and how you want it can be a definite plus.
Helping Others Is Helping Yourself
The same holiday I also learned about something that literally changed my life. My aunt has always been a very religious woman and helps people in a Catholic Church cook for a shelter of homeless, elderly people. Since I had no plans I decided to tag along for the first time in my life (she has been doing it for 30+ years).
Helping others opened in my heart a sense of purpose and greatness that was unknown to me until then. Help others during this holiday season and I guarantee it will put a smile upon your face.
In the same vein as the previous item, being thankful for the gifts life has granted you is part of the abundance mindset. Sometimes, we have to come out of our comfort zone and take a look around to understand just how fortunate we are. Being single during the holidays is a great chance to work on that and it might very well change your life.
Nurture Your Bonds
Finally, being single makes room to nurture other bonds. Get on that lengthy conversation with elder relatives, listen and play with children, amaze yourself with their faces of awe as they tear open the paper, and get their presents.
Nurturing bonds within your close circle is a must for lifelong healthy relationships. They will be there for you when the time comes with a hug. Don’t overlook the people who love you; you are by no means alone.
Spending your holidays single is not a reason for self-pity but a ticket to self-discovery. The more you know about yourself, the more you can unleash the GR8NESS in you.
Self-discovery is the first step to self-care. The most meaningful relationship in your life, the one that deserves all your love, patience, and effort is the one with yourself. These holidays are a new chance to nurture it and share the love with others. Don’t miss it!