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Oh the side eye
Properly placed, no shade or envy behind it- just blah. Your best friend just walked in with her new man for the holiday party. Last year she was with you, rambling on the couch like two college girls over red wine discussing everything but men. Twelve months have passed and again you find yourself wishing, hoping, praying and thinking it would be different for the holidays.
Many women I speak to cringe and loathe this time of year. It reminds them of love not yet unwrapped. Promises that never warmed up to become reality and past flavors of the month who never could commit to tying the knot long-term.
Your parents seem happy and so does your brother and sister with their fresh relationship. Friends and family come by to chit-chat with your elders, companions prepare plates for each other or hug to take photos for the 'gram. That bleh “I'm over it” feeling begins to turn your stomach. You aren’t hating, just a bit envious. Maybe you want to be single by choice but the holidays still sting. Yes, seeing those cousins from out of town brings joy, as well as the freshness of new energy kids bring as they run around the house. The truth is many of my friends tell me they're tired of celebrating everyone else. Haven’t they waited long enough for their gift?
"Loneliness is or seems more intense during the holidays because of all the media coverage that describes holidays as a time for gatherings, friends, and family," says Elaine Rodino, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in State College, Pennsylvania. According to a 2006 survey conducted by the research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the American Psychological Association, one in four Americans reports experiencing loneliness during the holiday season.
You are not alone in this feeling or dreadful state of mind. But let’s break out so you can enjoy this time of the year.
Here are a few points to ease the heart and mind in this season.
1. This is a season for celebrating!
Yes, it would be nice to nuzzle under warm arms and laugh through the night with bae. Nevertheless, keep in mind why this season is so joyous! Thanksgiving reminds us of coming together with our family and breaking fresh bread. Pumpkin pie and sweet kisses are passed around by Grandma. You can cherish the bliss Christmas brings and all its festive cheer if you choose to do so. Busy malls and Saint Nick, buying gifts and appreciating the blessings of the family can renew your energy for love and life. This season is truly not just about us, but it's about others! My close relative once told me when she took her mind off comparing herself with others she learned how to live.
2. Treat yo self!
You're probably thinking “this is why I hate this time of year.” There will come a time when you have to think of others whether you choose to or not. Future spouses and children will demand more of you than you may bargain for. Would it be great to go shopping or serve at the homeless shelter with your own family? Absolutely, but you have total autonomy over every action this season. Visit your friends, empower and honor yourself with some quiet time or share some holiday bonus money with the less fortunate. Consider treating yourself to a lavish escape away from the snowflakes to a warm white sandy beach. Stella found her groove on a tropical island!
3. Forget the world’s opinion and social media
You can make this all about what you don’t have. But living in scarcity is no way to be grateful while moving into a new year. The world wants you to believe in order to be fulfilled you need a person in your bed, but the love you desire will come from within. Move your heart toward being grateful instead of the graveyard. Whenever my friends look at Instagram they find struggle plates, sagging Ugg Boots galore in the background and photos of friends who seem to be in love. Social media only shows you the best of people’s lives at that moment. It fails to explain how much convincing it took your significant other to visit your family. You want your aunties to believe you aren’t a lonely 30 or 40-year-old so you play the role. Truth is, you're only betraying yourself when you play a part to perform for others. Be free in knowing when the time is right, everything you desire will come to you.
Friends and family want you to be fulfilled, happy and joyful this time of year. Do yourself a favor and be present. Life is good and you are blessed to see these days full of loved ones.