How to be single at Christmas (and have a marvellous time)
It is no secret to anyone that knows me that I am very content being single. I haven’t dated anyone consistently in over a year and can honestly say I am very happy alone.
This state of mind has taken a lot of soul searching and practice. I know first hand the awkwardness of being the only single person at a Christmas party or worse, when someone asks you why you’re still “on your own”.
The thing is, you can’t control other people’s opinions about your single-ness. But you can choose how you spend your time and how you treat yourself. So I have put together my 5 top tips for having a wonderful Christmas time regardless of your relationship status.
1. It’s ok to say no
If a social occasion is going to make you feel awkward or uncomfortable because you don’t have a partner, I think it’s absolutely fine not to go.
For example, if your friends are all bringing their boyfriends ice skating and you’ll be skating solo, it’s like being the only person not given dessert at the dinner table. It’s not that you want the other person’s pudding but it’s never fun to feel left out.
There will be plenty of social occasions where you can relax and enjoy yourself but in my experience any party that diminishes your enjoyment of your own company is not worth it.
2. Spend time with people older or younger than you
Christmas is a time when we naturally mix with people who aren’t the same age as us. It’s easy to resent this but intergenerational relationships are important. My grandma is 86 and lives independently and alone. Yes, we butt heads occasionally but for the most part her company is always very reassuring. Talking with her about life, loves and losses helps me keep everything in perspective.
Time with children has the same effect. They really don’t want to hear about your lack of love life (ew). They’d much rather play games and have fun.
In both interactions, we must focus on the person in front of us, not some phantom person we feel we are missing. This helps us enjoy the present moment, a recipe for a happy, festive time.
3. Don’t be afraid to text your pals
Scrolling through Instagram it’s easy to be fooled that all the couples we know are having the most perfect ‘Love Actually’ style romances. In my experience, this isn’t always the case. One Christmas, I was feeling a bit blue so I messaged an old friend to see if she fancied a Christmas drink. To my surprise she jumped at the chance. We met for a drink and she told me she was actually not happy in her relationship and really grateful for some time with a girl friend.
That’s not to say all couples are secretly unhappy, but maybe some of our friends in couples are feeling a bit blue too. So don’t be afraid to say hi, you could making someone’s day.
4. Get back into a hobby
I love my camera. I get to use it a lot for work but I’ve been very busy and not had any time to shoot just for myself. On Boxing day, I like to take my camera out and wander around near Tracy’s house. It’s a beautiful area and photography is something I can enjoy without anyone else with me.
This step is about doing a little detective work, is there a hobby you aren’t making time for? Have you got a camera collecting dust? What about some knitting, or drawing or writing? Maybe there’s a DIY project that you’ve been meaning to finish for ages?
Now is a great time to step out of the madness and get stuck into activities that make you really happy and appreciate your own talents.
5. Treat. Yo. Self
Best thing about not having a partner? You can spend the money you would have spent on their present on yourself! Seriously though, self-gifting is a key part of self-care. This isn’t about shopping away the pain, it’s about recognising your worth but thoughtfully spending your money on yourself.
The great thing about self-gifting is you know what will soothe your soul. Alisha Ramos, founder of girls night in, spoke about this in her take on self-gifting. She said she was aiming to “gift herself something that will help me take a break from work and screens” This is a big part of why we created the Winter Retreat. I wanted something that would mean I could create a lovely weekend for myself, by myself.
Whether you fancy picking up a Retreat or not, I hope these tips help you enjoy spending time with your fabulous self this Christmas.