10 Ways to Survive the Holidays… Alone.

The more we grow up, the lonelier we get. We missed the days when family used to pester us during the holidays. Why do they have to call us for holiday eating when we’re still busy playing video games? Why do family pester us with corny activities? We’re cool kids. Family is embarrassing.

I remember the first time I moved to California. It was the first time I spent the holidays alone. I loved being alone, don’t get me wrong. But this time… I felt sad.
Feeling lonely being alone? This was a first for me.
So I learned something new. I’d rather be alone the whole year — except for the holidays.
You see families gathering in Christmas trees, or gathering on a feasting table — with inner peace and happiness, with glowing smiles on their faces — you feel jealous… and lonely. You wish you had one too. For the first time — you feel really alone.

There’s something about holidays. The spirit is up — peace and goodwill to mankind and all that. Everybody seems to have true contentment, with heart-warming smiles on their faces. What’s up with that?

Oh well, they don’t call me the Grinch for nothing.
Moving to a new place, starting over is hard. Exciting though, with lots of new learning(s) — but hard.

And you won’t know a lot of people, and you won’t have lots of family there. Most probably, you’ll be spending your holidays alone. That’s why the airline business is in the billions during holidays. People go home because they’re lonely. Even if they screw all their savings buying expensive plane tickets — they still go, “Oh well, what the hell” and go home. But, the only thing that keeps you from being lonely in the holidays is spending time with other people. Nothing else can substitute for that. Nothing.

But here’s what to do when you’re in a new place, completely alone during the holidays:

1. Open yourself to meet new people.
A lot of cool people out there… we just don’t talk to them. But they’re cool.
One thing really disgusts me is, Filipinos only talk to other Filipinos. Well, most of them. They do the “Filipino way” — get in clusters and mingle only with each other. While it might be good sometimes, but we already know everything there is to know about being a Filipino.

There are so many cool stuff to learn from other races. Sadly, Most narrow-minded Filipinos prefer to talk exclusively to Tagalog speakers only. People who share the same ideals, people they can gossip with and talk about current “showbiz” events. That’s just sad.
Go mingle with other people and have a blast! Hey, it’s the holidays — give it a chance.
Go talk to that white neighbor who always say hi to you — but you just give a smile just to be polite but never really had the desire to talk to for long periods because they know nothing about Piolo and KC.

2. Seek family and friends… virtually.
Are plane tickets expensive? Yep.

But we live in a great age. Everybody is connected now. It started with the great internet weaving it’s massive web across the world. Hence: the world wide web. Then on to some kid revolutionizing something called the “social network.”

Social networking revolutionized the world. It’s slowly phasing out the outdated “e-mail” that once connected the world. Everyone barely opens their e-mails these days, all their messages are on facebook or twitter.

Long distance pay cards are outdated and super expensive. Not to mention, filled with lots of static. With so much “Hello? Hello? Can you hear me!”

Use skype instead.
Use skype, YM, facebook, whatever — and chat with your family and friends to your hearts content.

3. Forgive.
There are people we haven’t talked to for years because we hate their guts. They have wronged us. They are scum. But if they’ve changed or realized their mistake — why not reach out to them?

It’s easy after all, you don’t have to call and hear their voices — just find them on facebook. If they have no facebook account, then too bad for them — they should have one.

BUT! Then again, if they’re still the same scum they’ve been for the last decade — leave them alone. You’re better off without them.

4. Exercise.
I know, I know, I hate it myself. It’s hard. But this is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Exercise raises the mood. It releases toxins through your pores, circulates your blood, makes you, well — healthier and fit. And this doesn’t only apply through the holidays. Any day, any bad day you have, go out and shed some sweat — it will make you feel good. You don’t have to apply for a gym membership. Please don’t, they tie you in knots. Nor does it only involve running or jogging. Go out and shoot some hoops, go hiking (hiking is fun), walk the dog (or your neighbors dog), walk around the park. Anything!

But! It has to be outdoors. For goodness sake’s, wii and kinect don’t count. Go outdoors, breathe and smell the nature. It will make you feel ten times better.

I know, I know, it’s cold. Just wear the right gear, and once your blood circulates and the body sweats — you’ll be all fine. Plus! You need some way to shed that bloated feast you consumed through the holidays. Ham, turkey — ugh!

5. Help and give.
This is self-explanatory. Giving makes you feel better. Give a little extra. Don’t care if the hobo lost all his money on drugs or alcohol, just give. It’s the holidays after all, it’s cold. Damn cold, a nice meal would help out a lot.

6. Try to spend time with singles.
Spending time with married family and friends suck. It’s not their fault, but they make you feel miserable. They are too consumed with their own families that they don’t give attention to you.
Spending time with all family is good, but as soon as the married ones make you feel down, leave and stick with the single people instead. Plus, the single people need your company, too.

7. Alcohol is always good, but keep it moderate.
I know, I know, this is the first option to numb the pain. Alcohol is good at numbing the pain. But it leads to worse depression right after. Then you’ll seek more alcohol and so on and so forth.
Well, some plan to “drink the holidays away.” But it’s not good. It’s not productive. It’s a waste. You could do so much more.

Alcohol is good, but keep it moderate.

8. Get a dog.
A dog is the ultimate solution for loneliness. Period.
Ask all the dog owners. Have you ever wondered why millions of people go crazy on their dogs?

9. Pursue your passion.
And as always, this is what I always talk about. No, don’t bury yourself with your meaningless day-job — it’s boring. Do what makes you feel good instead. Do what you love.
This is a great time. Is there a project you always wanted to try? What is it?
This is a great time to experiment and soul search. Make lots of mistakes, only through mistakes can people learn — no way else.

Experiment and soul searching — it’s super fun!

10. Give thanks, pray and meditate.
I know, I know you’re lonely. But you’re actually in a better place than most people. It’s cold, it’s winter — that means you’re living in a good land.
Be thankful. Be thankful for your job (no matter how much it sucks), it still pays the bills. Be thankful you still have four limbs and a head, and no annoying health bills to pay.

Pray. Meditate. Praying AND meditation always make you feel better. Note: AND. Praying is talking, while meditating is listening. Big difference.

Listen to God for once in your life. He has something to tell you… probably lots of things. It’s been a while, listen to him talk. Listen to him talk about why you’re in the situation you’re in right now. Listen.

Lastly, you’re in a good spot. Life may be bleak right now, but there’s a reason for it. You’re breathing healthy, you’re in a good spot. Enjoy it.
Happy holidays!

21 Comments

  1. That’s good Dave. I migrated to Australia 34 years ago at age 29. I basically followed all(except getting a dog).

    Now at age 63, I have to be more created to replace some such us spending time with singles and taking alcohol. At my age, singles means geriatrics and though I love feeling tipsy every now and then, even finishing a bottle of brandy, I don’t want to end like Amy Winehouse.

    With the latest technology, I could see the world without leaving the room and communicate the whole day with everybody through facebook, twitter, etc.

    I look & feel 20 years young (all my physical attributes still very normal – thank God) and the amazing thing is that only our body change…. I still think like 18 years old (with ample experience & wisdom). I am toying with the idea of touring the world as backpacker….considered by my children as laughable…. he he he

    • it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be a backpacker. I wish I have the means and freedom to do it now. I’d do it in a heartbeat.

      It’s not too late. You feel young, do it 🙂

  2. Hello Dave! Great blog!!! I agree to each one of your ten ways to survive the Holidays!!

    Things Happen for a Reason…whatever or wherever we are in right now especially during this Happy Holidays…be Thankful to our God!

    Happy New Year!!!

  3. this is awesome…

    yeah, i’ll be spending Christmas alone here in Malaysia but i take it positively… i know it is really sad to be far away from home but then again i realized that God just wants a moment with me… sabi ni God “wag ka na masad, moment natin to”

    so there, it is just how we see things and do things that can make us happy and less miserable during the holidays.

    btw, thank you for sharing this with us… Happy Holidays and GodBless 🙂

    • Np. It’ll be alright. It’s just one of those phases we have to go through when we’re young. Soon enough, you’ll be crowded with so much family, and kids running around the house – you won’t even have time for yourself 😀

      • hahaha yeah i totally agree with that…

        as we grow older life becomes more complicated though… nwei, just live with it… thanks again dave 🙂

        Godbless 🙂

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