Stay Hopeful & Avoid Loneliness This Holiday Season: Tips to Get You Ready
Updated: 1 day ago
For the first few years after my divorce, every summer, just after the Fourth of July celebrations wound down, my mind would start to wander towards the dreaded thought of the upcoming holiday season. The idea of spending another holiday season alone sent a wave of nausea through me.
I hated nothing more than being single over the holidays. Sure, Valentine’s Day sucked too, but that was just one day. The holidays were a different beast: weeks on end of events that highlighted my single status
and made me tear up at the jewelry commercials of sweater-bundled couples exchanging sparkling tokens of affection under softly drifting snowflakes.
I could already hear the questions from my relatives: "Have you found anyone special yet?" Their tones would be laced with disappointment and disbelief, as if I were somehow hiding a boyfriend from them. I would also find myself preoccupied with the holiday party invitations that would soon arrive, filled with couples where I would stick out like a sore thumb. Perhaps worse, though, were the thoughts of the winter nights I would spend alone on the couch, watching some cheesy holiday rom-com because I felt too awkward to show up as the token single person yet again. All these thoughts crept through my mind like an insidious poison, filling me with anxiety.
That low-level anxiety would become full-blown panic once Labor Day came and went, and my single status remained firmly intact, with holiday plans already being made. The loneliness that always hit me over the holidays was so powerful that I would go into intense planning mode in an attempt to fill my holiday schedule with as much distraction as possible.
But there was one big problem with this approach: it never really worked. Making all those plans only made me feel more sorry for myself for being alone. And even though the events and activities distracted me for a time, I always ended up back at the self-pity party as soon as they were over and I was on my way home to my empty house. A place that never felt emptier than on a cold winter's night when everyone else I knew was home cuddled up with their partners, enjoying a good binge-watch together.
I'm guessing some of you know all too well what I'm describing here.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could break that cycle of wallowing this year?? And just experience a lovely peaceful holiday with your friends and family without being hyper obsessed about your single status? Without being triggered by your Aunt Amelia’s snarky comments about how you are just clearly being ‘too picky’?
We all know that you find love when you aren't looking for it, but how can you stop looking when you're desperate to find love and close the door on your holiday loneliness?
I have some tips that will actually work, because they involve using tapping to neutralize your inner emotional turmoil. The sooner you use them, the better your holiday season will flow. Imagine the surprised look on everyone's face when you exude happiness and joy at all the family dinners this year, not only because you're feeling peaceful and comfortable in your own skin, but also because you're so convinced that your ideal mate is going to show up that you can wait and wait without anxiety, just like The Course in Miracles says.
So, how do you get there? Follow my tips below.
Tip number 1- put down the dating app! Going on those sites while you're feeling panicked and desperate to find love will only make you feel worse. It's like looking for your car keys in a stressed-out state of alarm and desperation. No matter how much you tear apart your house, you can't find them, and you start to feel hopeless and depressed.
The same thing happens when you go online desperate to find a boyfriend before New Year's Eve. You'll only see the men you would never want to date, and you'll focus on all the depressing things in their profiles. Your brain is hyper-focused on negativity, and it filters out anything that might make you feel more positive.
Sounds ludicrous I know but it’s scientifically true. It happens because when you are in a negative mood, your brain is 10x more likely to focus on the negative rather than the positive. It’s called the negativity bias. This is why you can see 100 terrible matches online and yet match with one or two good ones, but you walk away only focusing on the 100 bad ones. Think about it: if you were out at a crowded event and there were 100 men in the room, you would be excited if one of them asked for your number. You wouldn't walk away focused on all the other guys who didn’t.
Online dating can be a great tool to meet a partner, but it can also make you feel like a failure. This is because of completely unnatural social norms and our brain's negativity bias.
"Okay, Allison, I get it," you say. "You're telling me to close Bumble. But then what?
Tip number 2- Change your emotional state for the better. Here is a very specific tool I use to clear out the negativity and dread you have going into the holiday season alone:
Get out a piece of paper and journal all of the yucky feelings you are having in that moment around dating, being single, and being alone this holiday season. You can type it somewhere, but I recommend handwriting to get the best flow going. Your goal is to get out of your own way and write from the heart more than the mind.
When your list feels complete, go back through it and put a star next to the ones that feel the biggest emotionally. Next, look at the starred ones and number them starting with 1, beginning with the one that feels the biggest and most emotionally taxing. Don't overthink this. Your brain will get in the way and want to start analyzing it, but we want you to avoid analysis paralysis. Just go with your gut as much as you can.
Next, you'll start tapping on each statement on your list one at a time, crossing it off once it feels neutral. Starting with the most intense statement, rate the feeling on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest. Then, begin tapping on the side of your hand, saying the phrase as you wrote it on your list. Say this three times on that point, and then say just the "I am feeling [emotion]" part of the phrase on the subsequent eight tapping points. After your top of head point, take a deep breath and tune back in to the original feeling to see what your intensity number is now. Your goal is for the issue to feel like a 3 or less before you end the tapping round. If you need more specific instructions for how to tap, you can find them here: https://www.learntodatelikeagoddess.com/how-to-tap
It's best to tackle one thing on your list at a time to avoid overwhelming yourself. A good rule of thumb is to set aside around 15 minutes a day and try to cross off one statement each day for a week. At the end of a week, you may be surprised to find that many of the other things on your list are feeling better too! This is because our brains generalize information efficiently. So, emotionally neutralizing the pain of one issue can bring down the emotion on several other seemingly unrelated issues, such as your self-esteem and your confidence.
Tip number 3- Once you've neutralized the pain, you can start manifesting the kind of holiday season you truly desire by setting intentions and embodying your future emotions. This is the step a lot of people try to do first, but unfortunately, as humans, we have to feel to heal. So if we never allow ourselves to feel through and release all the bad feelings, trying to manifest is like stepping on the accelerator when you're sinking in the mud. The harder you try, the more stuck you get.
When you tap on and release your negative emotions, you suddenly have room in your mind and increased emotional bandwidth to consider how you would like to feel in the future. This step is all about beginning to feel how you desire to feel in the present moment.
You can use visualization and daydream deeply about your future with your ideal partner, conjuring up all the emotions you will feel when you are in the partnership of your dreams. If you're not much of a visualizer, you can write a letter from your future self to your current self, describing how you feel in your dream relationship.
The key to this step is to continue to tap and clear on any resistant thoughts and feelings that come up, like any of those "this will never happen for me" type thoughts. Focus primarily on how YOU will feel when you meet your guy. Don't get caught up in the trap of thinking too much about him. Keep your attention on how the future you feels.
It's kind of like trying on a luxurious coat. You have to "try on" the feelings of the new you, the you who is already in love and feels super supported and adored by your new partner. It takes a little practice and you might have to keep tweaking the fantasy a bit until it feels just right, the way you might have to try on several coats to find the perfect fit. But just keep trying and make it fun and light. It should feel exciting and lavish, even, never like a chore or one more thing on your to-do list (if it feels like that, then there's something there you need to tap on!).
Once you have a good sense of your future self in your dream relationship, let it go! Relax and trust that the universe is bringing it to you. When old Aunt Amelia makes her snarky comments about your single status over turkey this year, you'll smile inside, knowing that a great love is on its way. Something better than you've ever experienced before.
You know this because you've spent time feeling it, and no one can take that away from you.
When you've cleared the bad and envisioned the good, you can get back online if you want. It's the perfect high-vibe space to swipe and see someone you've probably never noticed before. But you may be surprised to find that you don't even need to do that. The man of your dreams may just show up out of nowhere, where you least expect it, and right on time.
Do these steps, and whether he shows up before or after this year comes to a close, it won't really matter to you. Because you'll look back on this year and think, 2023 was the best holiday season I've had yet.