Being Alone On Holidays Doesn'
Being Alone On Holidays Doesn't Mean Being Lonely
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
Or, simply, create a "family" to celebrate the
"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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