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Being Alone On Holidays Doesn'

Being Alone On Holidays Doesn't Mean Being Lonely

Holiday Feature


DENTON —Traditionally, the holidays place an emphasis on being with family during the season of giving. But a new job in a new city, a spouse's military deployment, estrangement from family and other reasons can mean not being with family. Still, that doesn't mean the holidays have to be any less celebratory.

"You can celebrate the holidays by yourself," said Dr. Roberta Nutt, professor of psychology at Texas Woman's University. "Buy yourself a gift; take yourself out to dinner."

Or, simply, create a "family" to celebrate the holidays.

"Volunteer time at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Visit residents in a nursing home. It's the season of giving, so give some of your time and energy to them," Dr. Nutt said.

An elderly neighbor or other co-workers may be alone during the holidays. Make plans to spend time with them — dinner, a party, some relaxed socializing. "Do what fits for you," Dr. Nutt said.

Share holiday cheer by making a basket of treats to share with firefighters or police working Thanksgiving or Christmas, but first make sure the department's policy doesn't prohibit such gifts and that they know goodies are coming. "Hospital staff and homeless shelter staff also work the holidays and they appreciate such gestures, too," Dr. Nutt said.

"Volunteer to be a substitute driver for Meals On Wheels on Christmas Day. Deliver holiday care baskets for a food bank. Be a Christmas angel and buy gifts for an underprivileged child. There are so many possibilities."

Creating a personal holiday ritual is another way to celebrate. "Decorating your home and putting up a tree could be a ritual you enjoy while neighbors enjoy the decorations," Dr. Nutt said.

Another ritual could be giving yourself quiet time to reflect on the year, mourn losses and embrace blessings. Since the holidays are stressful enough, and family can make them more stressful, that alone quiet time can be a gift to yourself.

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For Further Information Contact:

Roy Kron
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: rkron@twu.edu