How to Manage your Mental Health while being Single this Holiday Season:
-Know which events are coming up and sort out the triggers and emotions ahead of time.
For example, you know you have a holiday office party, and you know everyone will be there with a spouse or a partner, think in advance how that will make you feel without victimizing yourself. Maybe this means making an appointment with your therapist before the season begins, maybe it means starting to see a therapist.
The party will make you feel lonely, it will make you feel like a bit of a loser, it will make you feel less than others and what are you going to do about that? Plan your feelings like you would your outfits and gifts. Know the situations you’re walking into and what you may encounter and set out an emotional game plan.
-Maybe you don’t go to the holiday party, if you have to show face, maybe you go for a limited amount of time.
Maybe there’s a family gathering and that one aunt always comments on your weight or your lack of partner, you know it’s going to happen and you know it will have you feeling bad. What can you do about it? Maybe you don’t go to the party? Maybe you go and stay for 10 minutes? Maybe you go and when those comments are made out loud you thank your aunt for her concern and in your head you mutter die you old cow. Or maybe you finally say, those comments are hurtful and not helpful.
-People you can lean on who know what you’re going through, know how hard this season is for you and can be a source of encouragement. Maybe they are at the gatherings and can run interference between you and your batty old aunt.
-Making yourself the victim will only leave you feeling further entrenched in misery.
-Instead of it being ‘I’m loser and I have no one” maybe it’s “if being in a relationship is so important to me, what steps can I take to make a healthy relationship happen? Flipping the narrative.
-Showing yourself kindness and empathy, saying to yourself ‘this is hard, it’s hard to see everyone coupled and be single.” Kindness and empathy do not equate with shame and loathing. It’s not that I’m single because I’m 30lbs overweight and I have adult acne and I will die alone but rather its acknowledging the feelings and sitting with those feelings, leaning into those feelings. It is not a comfortable thing to do but growth is the wedgie of the soul, damn uncomfortable.
Balance the activities that will deplete your emotional resources with activities that will replenish them. Maybe you have to attend certain events because you just cannot escape those obligations, but on the way you listen to your favourite podcast or favourite radio show at 10pm on Saturday night or playlist. Maybe you book a massage or write or draw or anything that feeds your emotional self in a positive way. You don’t have to come out of the holiday season in the plus, just make sure you’re not in an emotional overdraft.