Holidays should be a time of fun and laughter and family, especially the festive season. But for some people, it’s like sticking a knife in their stomachs and slowly turning it….especially if you are a Singleton.

Many single people dread the festive season because they know they are going to have to answer a million and one questions from family members and distant relatives as to what their relationship status is. Or why they haven’t settled down yet? Or better yet, ‘what happened to that nice boy/girl you were dating…(like 3 yrs ago!)’?.

Some feel they have to dodge the gauntlet of seeing happy couples everywhere they go – from shopping malls to festive gatherings and even TV adverts portraying happy couples and families spending time together whilst they face yet another holiday season alone…

Learning to survive the holidays is key for any singleton if they want to come out on the other side physically and emotionally unscathed.

Here is a quick guide to help Singleton’s survive the upcoming holidays:

  1. Plan

Plan where you are going to spend the holidays and with whom (i.e. family or friends) so that you don’t feel like you’ve got nowhere to go or are the preverbial ‘spare wheel’.

  1. Don’t Wallow

Don’t stay home alone if you are feeling down, that will only make things worse. Get out, go do some exercise, take a walk, meet up with a friend or family member, anything so that you are not home alone. At the same time be careful not to keep yourself so busy that you end up feeling burnt-out and exhausted at the end of the holidays. Find the balance.

  1. Manage your expectations

Have fun in the way you see fit. Don’t allow anyone to pressure you into unrealistic expectations of what the holidays should be for you. You should be able to celebrate the holidays in a way that makes sense to you than trying to live up to others expectations. That way there will be less disappointment and frustration.

  1. It’s a time of giving

Traditionally the festive holidays have been around giving, gratitude and reflection. Take some time to do all of these things for yourself. Reflect on your year and what you have achieved no matter how small it may seem. Show your gratitude and appreciation for those special people in your life or volunteer your time and services to others less fortunate – this way you increase your sense of well-being and gratitude.

  1. Explore

Use the free time on your hands that the holidays bring to try new things, go new places and meet new people. Approach the holidays with the sense of adventure and be open to spontentaity. You never know how much fun you might have or who you could just meet along the way!

Don’t be pressurised by friends and family members to attend gatherings if you don’t want to. Ask yourself if this is something you really want to do? Or will it make you feel more lonely and depressed?

As a single you have the same right to enjoy the holiday season as any other person. So if you want to decorate your home, go backpacking or eat ice-cream, do it.

How you choose to spend the holidays is your personal choice, not those around you.

If you would like to discuss something about your where you are at right now or your relationship, please contact me here. I’d love to help you with it.

Paula Quinsee is a Relationship Expert in Johannesburg. She teaches individuals and organisations how to cultivate healthy relationships in their personal lives and workplace using EQ skills, Imago Therapy and NLP principles. Paula is also the author of Embracing Conflict – a self-help guide filled with practical tools and insights. Attend one of her regular monthly workshops for great empowering tools. Go to www.paulaquinsee.com  for more information

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