Enjoying the Holiday Season on Your Own
By Hina Khan, Success Coach and Registered Psychotherapist
The holidays are around the corner, and with an unwanted COVID-19 situation staying in our collective conscience, things are bound to look a little different this year. The pandemic has turned our lives upside down and it makes sense that there are going to be a lot of strong feelings about being alone during these upcoming festive times.
Since March, we’ve become accustomed to our days filled with virtual work and family meetings, celebrations, dates, etc. But when it comes to holidays, what does that look like, especially when you are used to large family gatherings, which is out of reach for us all? We may have an idea of what not to do, we don’t have a lot of material telling us what we can do during the holiday season. We can’t control the pandemic and the consequences it puts in front of us, we can control how we respond. We can be proactive in creating a happy and healthy way of celebrating without feeling like we’re missing out.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO CREATE JOY WHEN ALONE DURING THE HOLIDAYS:
- Enjoy it differently – what do you see this holiday as being? Things are different now, so instead of thinking of what could be, why not think about what it can be, and then work towards manifesting that? Ask for what you need, and start planning ahead! Is it a nice meal for yourself that you order ahead? Maybe it’s asking a dear friend for a virtual breakfast before they go celebrate with their own family. Or perhaps it’s a glass of cheer with a colleague during a twenty-minute phone call. Determine ahead of time how you want to enjoy it and begin to create it.
- Give back – take the focus off yourself and think of those who are less fortunate than you are. Get together with others to buy and send gifts to those who can’t afford it. Or think of a charity you can either volunteer with or contribute to in a meaningful way. Moving into a space of giving allows you to see things in a new light, and will alleviate any lower energy feelings about being alone these holidays.
- Accept the feelings – disappointment, resentment, worry, and a host of other feelings will crop up during these different times. Don’t ignore them, but also don’t allow yourself to be consumed by them and see that those feelings don’t need to drive your actions. You can control your response to what’s going on, and returning to the present will give you breathing room in seeing that it’s not bleak, but blissful as is.
- Focus on what’s important – think of something that would make the holidays meaningful, like a particular ritual or element that you can either recreate at home or start as a new way to celebrate. If there is a certain dish you eat to celebrate, then make that. Or begin fresh and fashion a never-done-before way of celebrating! Create this for you.
- Take a break from social media – if you find yourself comparing-and-despairing on social media during the build-up to the holidays, then give yourself the gift of signing off for a while. If seeing friends, family, and total strangers whooping it up and it gives you joy to see that, then stay connected that way. The idea is that you stick to what will make you feel good.
- Practice gratitude – if you don’t have a gratitude practice, take the time to start one. Instead of looking at what you don’t have (family gathering, gift opening in person, etc.) think about what you do have. Look for the magical moments in your day and life – perhaps it’s a kind word, a gesture from a neighbor, a postcard from a family member far away. When you start to see things in positive ways, you will find positive moments to cherish.
- Rest up – take the time to do the things you have been putting off for a while. Slow things down for yourself. Take advantage of not having to run around as much. Enjoy the silence and use this time as an opportunity to really practice self-care. You can also turn off phone notifications during certain times and minimize distractions so that you can clear the mental clutter as well.
- Fill up your calendar (and heart) – if low-key isn’t your jam, then create a schedule that brings you joy. Schedule video chats with loved ones, send out holiday cards and handwritten notes, set up Zoom dates with friends, enjoy safe outdoor activities, put up holiday decorations, take online classes, finish up home projects, or anything that fills your bucket and your time.
It’s appropriate to feel sadness around not being with others during this time, or in the ways that you traditionally would spend them. We are meant to be with others, socially, so this may be hard. Look at this as a new and different way of doing things. Harvest the good from this experience, and you may find that you have a wonderful holiday season after all. The key is to be proactive and looking at it through the lens of opportunity. This may not be the year that we look back with fondness, but it will be one that you created joy for yourself and others in spite of challenging circumstances.
Happy Holidays, no matter what you do (or don’t do)!
Hina Khan, Success Coach and Registered Psychotherapist, As a Success Coach and registered psychotherapist, Hina Khan has been a student of the mind, human behaviour, and human potential for over a decade. Hina guides and mentors people to work through seemingly unbreakable barriers, whether it be creating quantum leaps in their business or exceeding person goals. She does this by exploring and challenging the thoughts and beliefs that hold so many of us back. Then through extensive work, those thoughts and beliefs are replaced with ones which help to supercharge her clients’ growth. Hina has found that no matter how gifted, talented or brilliant a person is, if we don’t deal with our paradigms (limiting sub-conscious beliefs) we can never truly soar and have the postive results we are capable of creating in our personal and professional lives. Hina believes coaching is a powerful tool for change as one aligns with their purpose, vision and goals, allowing them to have mastery in both their personal and professional lives. She has trained extensively with her mentor Bob Proctor and is one of the top consultants for the successful “Thinking Into Results” program. Her extensive training at the distinguished Centre for Training in Psychotherapy anchors her coaching expertise. Hina is also a familiar face in television and is called on as an expert for a number of programs.