By Nordine Zouareg.

Spending the holidays can make you feel lonely and depressed. There are many reasons you may be alone this holiday season. Maybe you started a new job abroad, away from your family and can’t afford to fly back home.  Maybe you got a divorce or broke up with your partner. Whatever the reason, if you’re spending the holidays by yourself and it’s emotionally draining you, here is how to manage your feelings.

You’re Not Alone

Many people will spend the holidays alone. It’s not so much the alone part that matters but how you react to being alone. The bottom line is, you only have two choices, you let your mind take you for a ride into the dark side, or you let your heart guide you into a joyful and creative path. I recommend you choose the latter. I truly believe the cause of most of our suffering is that we want to be somewhere or with someone else while being here with yourself. We are never alone; there is always someone there. That someone is YOU.

Be In the Here and Now

Don’t play the blame game, or the victim, and don’t feel sorry for yourself. This would only make things worse by putting your mind in a negative thinking pattern loop. Instead, surrender to the present moment, the only place where fear is not. If you think about how it felt spending the holidays with your family last year, you’ll only be dwelling about the past and will feel homesick. After a while, this can cause issues and drag you down, so when you catch your mind drifting to a lonely place, just snap out of it and distract it with something more positive.

Be happy now. The holidays are a joyful and fun time, enjoy yourself, do things that make you feel good and positive. Get your mind busy, take a trip, go out into town and meet new people and places. Or, even better go for a massage. The key here is to keep your mind and body busy while in the spirit of the holidays.

Quit Waiting Around

 Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting, snap out. Come into the present moment. Just be and enjoy being.”
~Eckhart Tolle

This quote summarizes what I already mentioned earlier in this article, dwelling on the past or the future will put you in a negative and nostalgic state of mind. Make a list of things you’d like to do over the holidays and stick to them. It is during the holidays I like to assess various aspects of my life, the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. This requires that you are honest with yourself in asking questions such as “Who am I?” and “What do I want?”

Give Back

 Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers.”
~Joe Polish

The perfect gift to yourself is to give to others. Altruism, gratitude, and compassion are powerful and recurring emotions during the holidays. They are also a great diversion to being alone. Use these emotions to go out and help others, volunteer to
good causes such as:

  • Meal deliveries
  • Homeless shelters
  • Nursing homes

There are many other ways to give and thanks to the Internet, you can find them just a click away.

Things to Do to Distract Your Mind

Getting busy is important when spending the holiday alone, so try distracting your mind by:

  • Calling family and friends (Someone who doesn’t stress you out)
  • Helping others (Homeless, the elders)
  • Delivering meals
  • Reading (Inspiring books)
  • Writing (Positive things)
  • Hiking
  • Meditating
  • Working out
  • Baking
  • Pampering Yourself (Schedule a day spa)
  • Going out (To your favorite restaurant)

I hope this article will help you create a fantastic and happy time during the holidays.

~Nordine Zouareg