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The Top 6 Things You Can Do to Survive the Holidays When You’re Single
I remember how excited I would be to meet someone who showed real relationship potential in the months or even weeks leading up to the holiday season. Finally! This Christmas, I might be part of a relationship! Maybe there is someone who would show up with me at the office holiday party and family Christmas gathering! Someone to exchange romantic gifts with and cuddle with on cold nights; to kiss under the mistletoe.
And the best part was that I would have someone to spend New Year’s Eve with – it wouldn’t just be a year of babysitting my nephews so my sister and her husband could celebrate together (as much as I loved being Aunt Jane, seriously – they could find someone else for a night babysitter!).
But most of the time the timing failed and again alone for the holidays. Alone in every sense of the word, regardless of how much time I spent with my family. Alone in a season where everyone was full of excitement for the season of love, peace and joy. Alone in a world where it seemed like everyone else had someone to spend time with except me. I looked in from the outside and couldn’t get through. It was not me and himjust me.
So there I would be, single again during the holidays. I would go over to my (married) best friend or my sister and brother-in-law. And of course they all didn’t realize what I was going through. To me, they had everything: a husband, children, a house, a pet or two – I loved being around them, but that also just pointed out what was missing in my life. And that I didn’t have a life like them. As I wanted. To own someone in my life. Even if their lives weren’t always perfect, they were much more perfect than the one I live.
The conversation always turns to how I did it. As soon as it happened, I felt dread in my stomach because I knew which question was coming next. What about that guy you were dating? They would ask. What was there is something wrong with him? I actually felt like they were asking, “What is it there is something wrong with you?” I mean, it’s not like I haven’t already asked myself the same questions. But hearing that it was coming from the very people who were supposed to be my support system just made it worse. Because I really didn’t have an answer.
The truth was, I didn’t know what happened to the previous one. Why didn’t any of my contacts work for this case? Why didn’t either of them develop into relationships in which they showed so much potential. I didn’t know if there was something wrong with me, but I sure started to think I was. I think that was the hardest part.
As I left their cozy little world to get into my car aloneto go back to my one bedroom apartment alone, the tears would start. They started with a drop until they rolled down my face; I barely saw him drive through them. I would run through the door, lock it behind me, and let it all out. It was like my sad little annual Christmas tradition.
So how do we get through this season without feeling sad and lonely? I don’t think anything can completely make these feelings go away, and we wouldn’t be human if they weren’t, but at least there are a few things we can do to help get through what is sometimes less than the happiest season.
With a little shift in focus and a lot of love for yourself, this can be a truly special time. So here’s my list of the top things that helped me get through the (more than a few) Christmas season I spent as a single girl…
Let those tears flow. This is one of the most overlooked but also one of the most important things to do this season. So often we try to hold back our tears; keeping that smile on our face, pretending everything is fine, not wanting anyone to see our sadness in a season that is supposed to be filled with such joy. Let them out! Tears are so healing if we let them flow, as nature intended. Whatever helps them flow, let them pour out. Put on some beautiful Christmas music and let it all out. All your hopes, dreams and wishes for the season, all the things you’ve been hoping for. Grieve it all. They heal tears and there’s a reason they have to come out – to get you to the other side. But be with them fully when you feel your heart breaking, mourning for all the things you wanted your life to be that haven’t (yet) been decided. And know that after tears comes healing. But let the tears flow until there’s nothing left. Then you’re ready to pull yourself together and move; because we have something to live for!
2. Be social
So here’s the thing. You’re not the only one who feels this way this time of year. Almost every single person, whether male or female, whether they admit it or not, experiences feelings of loneliness during this time. So going out and finding people like you (meaning single, independent people) will only do you good. To confirm that you really are not alone. Really. So find your favorite hangouts, whether it’s your favorite coffee shop, a mountaintop, a sandy beach (if you live somewhere warm), a frozen lake (for our northern friends), some planned singles events—anywhere you’re likely to meet other singles to meet and mingle in your neck of the woods. , go there. And enjoy it. Don’t bring expectations, just be. Just enjoy the art of meeting and mingling without any preconceived notions of what you will or will not get out of it. Trust me, you’ll feel better when you get out and see that you really aren’t so alone. And it really hurts to sit alone in our apartment and feel sorry for ourselves (I mean, we’re done crying, so now it’s boring!).
3. Give it back
Whether it’s volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about or donating toys to a local toy drive, give yourself the gift of time and/or money and feel really good about what you can contribute this season. You can experience the amazing feeling that comes from knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life just by being yourself and helping someone who needs a little extra help this time of year. Find something you really enjoy doing so you can enjoy yourself while also experiencing that genuine sense of happiness that comes from making someone’s day. And if you can combine that with something social, all the better. Remember, this is one of the loneliest times for the elderly, especially widows who live in a different kind of loneliness but still feel very alone.
4. Be active
Studies have clearly shown that exercise can help beat the blues, so get off the couch, get out there and move! Getting the heart rate up, the blood pumping and clearing our mind and body is so healing. It relieves stress and helps to divert our thoughts from everything that bothers us. Whether it’s ice skating, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, dancing—whatever you enjoy, get out there and do it. This can also be good to combine with 2 – get social. Join a hiking, skiing or cycling club. Go to that yoga class you’ve been meaning to take. There’s no better time than now – so go for it!
5. Spend time with the children
Seriously, you can never spend too much time with small children this time of year. Their parents will love you for it, you’ll be blessed to be around little people who can only live in the present without a care in the world, and your kids will love spending time with you as a fun new playmate. They have a way of putting everything into perspective by living so fully, so casually, that it can’t help but rub off on you. Spending New Year’s Eve with my nephews was the next best thing to a date night, and the excitement of them staying up until midnight (even though they never managed it) would be enough to make you forget why you’re home alone. Because you’re not. You are the next best thing to cutting bread for these little ones who have enough energy to exercise while you hang out with them. So wherever your nephews, nieces, friends’ kids, church kids, neighbor’s kids are, see how you can spend some time with them around the holidays. And if you don’t have one close enough to you, consider becoming a great sister – another wonderful thing you can do for those who also struggle with the holidays (and relate to #3 – give back!). If you’re a little more skeptical, give it a try. If it doesn’t come naturally at first, just wait – they’ll grow on you! As adults, we sometimes have to relearn how to play, which can also be very therapeutic.
6. Celebrate you
This is the last but easiest thing to forget; celebrate you Whether it’s a facial, manicure, pedicure, massage, makeover, treat yourself to a special gift, go somewhere special, take that class you’ve been meaning to do, whatever that means to you – do something special for yourself that you wouldn’t normally do . Treat yourself the way you would want your significant other to treat you, because you deserve it!
And most of all, when you’re tempted to slip back into the funk, remember that one of the reasons you’re single is because you’re not willing to settle for less than you deserve. Of course you can be in a relationship, you have a guy in your life. But that’s not the point. That’s not all you’re here for Any guy, you want the real thing! And that’s exactly what you deserve. No less. It just might mean that this holiday season isn’t the time you and he… more. And if you think so, and remember that this is approx your choice, you will realize that you are strong and in control of your current single status.
This is about you!
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