The holidays are traditionally seen as a time to get together with family and friends, attend gatherings, and be social. For some, though, the holidays are spent alone. Whether it’s by personal choice or not, some experience the holidays by themselves.
For those who see the holidays as a time to be together ALL. THE. TIME., it may seem strange that someone wants to be alone on purpose. However, we all need a little time to ourselves to relax and regenerate. For those who enjoy “alone time”, but still want to be social, there are ways to balance the two to make sure those around feel acknowledged while providing time to recharge.
- Share your plans to be alone. If being alone is not a normal thing you do during the holidays, tell those who you typically spend time with that you want to spend some time alone, but will still spend time with them.
- Create a schedule. Plan activities to do alone and activities to do with others. Take into consideration activities that may be important to others as well. Don’t make the schedule all about you because that can create the impression of avoidance and inflexibility. However, don’t be afraid to remind others that you are spending some time by yourself as well. This means finding out about upcoming events ahead of time, being accommodating yet straightforward, and most importantly, sharing your plans.
- Prioritize activities that energize you. Are there holiday events or activities that you look forward to? Make sure those are included in your schedule. Other activities that may feel draining or may lead to conflict can be avoided.
- Let go of guilt. Some people feel guilty for wanting to stay home or spend time alone. However, if you know that being alone for a bit helps you regain energy later, there is no shame in that. Also, those who know you best should know that about you, or at least understand.
- Reach out to family and friends. Before “alone time” turns into loneliness, reach out to those you want to spend time. If they are far away and you can’t visit them, a phone call can be just as comforting.
- Make alone time count. How do you make the most of your time alone? Maybe you can go to a festival, play, museum exhibit, or caroling. Perhaps you want to volunteer somewhere. Or maybe you just want to stay at home, wear your pajamas, and watch a movie. Any of those are great ideas, but it’s best to mix it up to include all levels of socializing. Again, this can help balance “alone time” with “loneliness”.
If you are spending the holidays, or portions of it, by yourself, share some ways you are rockin’ the “alone time” and making the most of it!