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Holiday Blues: Single in the City

Single during the Holidays.

You are sitting at home alone, no one to share your Christmas spirit with. All alone, you wonder what is wrong with you. You dwell on past holidays when you were with that one person who mattered-who is no longer in your life. Thinking over and over---you can't seem to snap out of your Holiday Blues.

You're not alone. About one out of four households in America is a single person. Many people live alone-and many of them equate living alone with being lonely. Some single people think, "There must be something wrong with me that I don't have a partner".

What can you do?

First, being single is not a disease. It's often a choice-sometimes a better choice than being with someone you don't want to be with. If being single were a defect and a sign that you are inferior, then you would have to think that every person who is married was once defective. They became worthwhile when they married another defective (single) person. Absurd. People are people-not defects. Being single is a situation, not a moral failure. Your mother and father were once single.

Second, being alone doesn't mean you have to be lonely. Think about building your network---in advance. Reach out to friends, invite people to lunch, dinner, coffee, or a movie. There are a lot of people out there looking for a friend. You could be that person.

Third, plan events---and be willing to do them by yourself. You don't have to be a religious person to enjoy religious ceremony. Going to hear a concert, listening to Handel's Messiah at any church in this country, or going to a church breakfast or meeting is a way to reach out and meet new people. The church doors are not locked to single people. All are welcome, all are needed.

Fourth, volunteer to help others. A friend told me that he volunteers every Christmas to help out at a homeless shelter. There is nothing that helps you more than helping others. You can matter to someone else. And, in the process, you will meet other kind and compassionate people.

Fifth, there is no commandment that says, "Thou shalt have a wonderful time at Christmas". Indeed, the early Puritans did not celebrate Christmas-they thought it was a pagan holiday. Christmas can be a time of reflection, appreciation, serenity, and peace. And, then again, so can the other 364 days of the year.

For other ideas on beating the blues see my book Beat the Blues before they Beat You.

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