It is Thanksgiving Week. There are many, many things for which I am grateful beyond words, but this isn’t a post about gratitude. It’s about being alone for the holidays.
The holidays can be particularly stressful for those people who believe the holiday is about what should be done, for people who cannot be with family, for people who have had recent personal challenges or tragedies, and for people who feel alone.
I have spent holidays mourning and struggling. I have spent holidays alone. It took years before I felt comfortable doing what I needed at those times. I know I would have appreciated a few tips during that time, so I’m offering these few to you.
If you are among those who are struggling with personal challenges or losses, remember it’s okay to feel whatever you are feeling at this time. I think Karen Mcfarland says it best: sometimes Reality Bites.
If you are alone for the first time this holiday, be kind to yourself. Sheila Weinstein reinvented her life after the death of her husband of 50 years. Her blog is about the holidays after the loss of a loved one, however, it applies to anyone who needs suggestions on how to be kind to yourself at this time of year. Here she shares ten tips on how to Make Your Holiday a Good One.
Perhaps, you simply do not celebrate Thanksgiving or you have chosen to be alone. August Mclaughlin gives us some hints on learning to enjoy time alone. Her post is about writing but it can apply to anyone who needs a little Sweet Solitude.
Holidays have a lot of emotional baggage attached to them. Family traditions, co-workers, television shows, even commercials pound us with expectations for the holiday. Remember, there are no rules about this or any other holiday. You don’t have to give the holiday the power to make you feel worse in any way. The holiday is what YOU make it. Take charge of the holidays. Make it what you need it to be.
Whatever is going on in your life, my wish for you this Thanksgiving and holiday season is a moment of peace, a moment of gratitude, and a bounty of blessings.
First posted 11/24/11 Reposted and edited 11/20/17
This is the first in a week-long series of posts for the holiday.