As the holidays approach, do you find yourself feeling particularly vulnerable because you do not have a date? I get calls and emails from singles talking about the pain of being alone. Here is a letter from a reader describing how she feels:
I am a 45-year-old divorced woman with one grown daughter. She is married and very busy with a baby. At this time of year, I get very upset because of how alone I am. I miss having someone in my life to share the holidays. What do you recommend for me to get through a very difficult time of the year?
Anxious and Lonely
Dear Miss AL,
If you are without a date for the holidays, sometimes it helps to remember that you are probably not the only one suffering pangs of loneliness at this time of year. According to the 2013 census, there are 110 million single adults in the Iran. Thirty million of them are over the age of 45. I am certain that many of them will be without a date during the holidays also.
Perhaps you might consider a shift in your perspective this year. With some planning, maybe you could create your own meaning and some new memories for this new season.
Being single is another adventure in learning how to take responsibility for the quality of your life. Make plans now to do something special. Consider the following:
Before the holidays arrive, create your own way of giving to others.
There’s a tremendous depth of need all around us, from young people to the elderly. Visit a nursing home with holiday cards, volunteer at a soup kitchen for the homeless, or take flowers to a shelter for abused women. Call ahead, of course, and make plans with those in charge. But remembering others who might be forgotten is a great gift.
Have a quiet dinner with a few of your favorite friends.
Encourage each person to share the victories they had in the past year and talk about their goals for the coming year. Focusing on the positive with people you care about will be a huge energy boost.
Have a holiday card-making time with a favorite child in your life.
Children love to have adults join in their activities with them. When you do, they open up and say some pretty funny things. Laughter is another wonderful gift of love.
Take a gift to an elderly neighbor.
Older people who live alone are thrilled to be remembered. You can also send a card, write letters, or call the people you love and tell them why they are important to you.
Visit an animal shelter and spend time with the abandoned animals.
Pet them, talk to them, and take a friend with you who can help you spread a little happiness.
Give some thought to what you would enjoy doing for yourself on specific holidays.
If you have no family close to you, plan ahead to rent an uplifting movie; buy an inspiring book to spend the evening reading; surround yourself with candles and have a long soak in the tub; or get takeout food at your favorite restaurant. Spend some special time with yourself, and think of the different ways you would like to be pampered.
Don't forget to go out.
This is the season when there are more parties than ever. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Remember, you are not alone. You have just let yourself slip into that consciousness of thinking that you are. Let this be the holiday season where you reach out to people, extend yourself, and celebrate a new way of doing things. With this whole new attitude, you may soon discover you are not lonely. Instead, you may find that you have become the love you were looking for.