While everyone else (or so it seems) is happily enjoying his or her extended family, you may find yourself alone during the holidays. You may be widowed, divorced or estranged from family members. Or maybe your relatives and offspring live too far away to visit. Whatever the reason, some of us will find ourselves facing the holidays stripped of the security net provided by our daily routines.
Although it would be easy to sink into self-pity, self-care is more appropriate. Here are three tips (FIT) to make the holidays not only bearable but enjoyable:
F: Find others who are in a similar situation and reach out to them. If you can’t find others who will be alone, find organizations and families that are in need of support and commit to giving a helping hand. Working in a charitable kitchen on a holiday or visiting seniors in a nursing home is satisfying at many levels.
I: Indulge yourself in ways that nurture your body and spirit. Take a nap, attend a religious service, enjoy a holiday concert or luxuriate in a bubble bath. Make a bucket list of activities you enjoy and then work your way through the list before the holidays end.
T: Take every opportunity to talk to others. Interact with the checkout clerk in the supermarket. Call neighbors and long-lost friends to catch up on family news. Join an online community and make new friends. Isolation is the enemy; talking is the remedy.
Whatever else you do, be sure to maintain your fitness regimen. Continue to exercise daily and eat healthfully. And don’t forget to get a good night’s rest. Sleep restores energy and perspective—and keeps the appetite in check.
Before you know it, the holidays will have passed, and we’ll be looking at the start of a New Year. If you’ve taken good care of yourself, you’ll begin 2011 with a renewed sense of inner strength and confidence. You will have found the truth in Michelangelo’s insight that "faith in oneself is the best and safest course."
Image courtesy of Stephie S.