This week, I have invited Rodara Nelloms back to provide tips on how to enjoy the holidays when you’re not able to spend time with your loved ones. Rodara is a co-author of the book, “Private Eyes by D.R. Nelloms,” and is the creator of Strut Your Awesome(tm), a page that inspires young women to let their “inner awesome shine.”
Spending Christmas Alone by Rodara Nelloms
Throughout the years, many of us have become accustomed to equating the holidays with family gatherings, parties, and lots of holiday dinners. But what if circumstances have changed to where the holidays are no longer spent with family and friends? For some, the holidays may not evoke thoughts of happiness; instead, they only reinforce the idea that we are not spending time with those whose company we may have enjoyed in the past. Regardless of why you may be spending Christmas by yourself this year, it doesn’t have to be a time of loneliness and depression. It can actually be a fun time, filled with opportunities to treat yourself and to do something for others. By trying out a few of these ideas this holiday season, you may just find your new favorite Christmas tradition.
How often do you really take time to enjoy being you? Having some alone time is the best time to do things that you know you love, without having to rely on the opinions of others. It’s your time. You don’t have to compromise with anyone else. How you spend your time is totally up to you.
Give yourself an at-home spa day. This is one of my FAVORITE things to do for myself. As a matter of fact, I’m planning my next at-home spa day as I write this.
Bathe yourself in luxury. Draw a warm bath, adding your favorite bath salts and essential oils. Light some candles in your bathroom and play some soothing music. Or, place your laptop or tablet on a stand and play your favorite movie/TV show. When you’re done, be sure to moisturize with some coconut oil and have a nice, fluffy bathrobe to wrap yourself in.
Give yourself a massage. After your bath, massage your feet. The nerve endings that are connected to each of your organs are all found on the soles of your feet. With some coconut oil, mixed with your favorite essential oil, massage each of your feet, giving every single inch the attention that it deserves. If you don’t want to bend over, use a massaging foot roller. Next, grab a massage tool for your back and loosen up any tension you may be holding in your neck, upper and lower back.
Give yourself a facial.
- Place your face over some steam to open your pores. Boil some water in a pot, turn off the stove and remove the pot, placing it on a heat-resistant surface. Then, place a towel over your head and lower your head over the pot until the water cools and the steam stops.
- Cleanse your skin with a paraben- and sulfate-free cleanser. Rinse thoroughly.
- Exfoliate your skin with a do-it-yourself sugar scrub. Make your scrub by mixing equal parts honey and brown sugar. Place the mixture in an air-tight jar for storage. When applying to your face, use circular motions, avoiding your eye area. Rinse your face with cool water. (This is one of my favorite scrubs. I received it once as a Christmas gift and have been making it for myself ever since.)
- Apply a mask to draw out any toxins and reduce your pores. I prefer clay masks for this process, however, there are many DIY masks that you can try. You can use oatmeal, avocado, or even a mashed banana. Place cucumber slices over your eyes to relieve puffiness as you wait for your mask to dry. Rinse off your mask with cool water.
- Tone your skin with witch hazel or an apple cider vinegar mixture (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). Apply toner with a cotton ball to your face, avoiding the eye area.
- Moisturize with coconut oil.
Read a book. If it’s a nice day, go outside with a warm beverage and get lost inside of the pages of a new book. If you’d rather stay inside, grab a blanket and curl up on the couch. Reading is a great way to allow your imagination to flow while exercising your brain.
Have a movie marathon. If you’re like me, you probably have a favorite show that you just haven’t had time to keep up with over the past few weeks. Or, maybe there are a few movies that you haven’t seen yet that have caught your interest. Perhaps you have some old favorites that you haven’t seen in a while. If you have a streaming service, add your list of movies/shows to your queue so that they’re ready for your viewing pleasure. If you don’t, rent them on Amazon. Grab your favorite snacks and enjoy your viewing marathon.
Eat from your favorite restaurants. Although most restaurants are closed on Christmas day, if you want to enjoy your favorite meal, be proactive. Order your meal to go on Christmas Eve. Then simply heat it up (if required) on Christmas Day. If you want to get out of the house, venture out. Find out which restaurants will be open on Christmas day and take yourself out for lunch or dinner.
Have a dance party. Turn on your favorite music and dance your heart out. It’s a great mood elevator and you’ll be getting some exercise too. No one’s watching, so be as silly as you want to be.
Attend a Christmas Eve service. If you want some sense of togetherness for the holidays, go to your local church on Christmas Eve. There is usually lots of singing and plenty of positive vibes that will get you in the Christmas spirit.
Go outside and play! If there’s snow on the ground, make a snowman, make some snow angels, and throw some snowballs with your neighbors. Or, go for a walk. Turn up some Christmas tunes on your phone and walk through your neighborhood, enjoying all of the holiday decorations. It’s a great opportunity to get your heart pumping while having some fun. Be sure to take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature and possibly the laughter of children playing with their new toys.
Buy yourself some gifts. No one knows better what you want than you. Go Christmas shopping for yourself. Most people don’t shop for themselves during the holidays. Save some money for yourself and get something that you’ve been eyeing for a while. Wrap it (if you’d like) and place it under your tree if you’ve set one up. Recently, a neighbor gave me this idea at a holiday party. She said that even though she knew what the gifts were, she still enjoyed the act of wrapping presents, seeing them under the tree, and unwrapping them. If you’re the same way, give yourself a few things to open on Christmas morning while listening to your favorite Christmas carols.
Create a work of art. If you’re artistic, or even if you’re not, grab a canvas, some paint, a brush, and just go for it. Allow yourself to create something that otherwise would not have existed. Paint something for yourself or with the intention of giving it away as a gift to a loved one. No matter the outcome, have fun with the process.
Create your vision board for 2018. Do you know what you’re planning for the new year? You can use this time to reflect on 2017 and create the year you want for 2018. Grab some magazines, markers, poster board and glue. Then create the goals you have for the year with images and your words. Get creative with it, making it as detailed as possible. “Write the vision and make it plain.” – Habakkuk 2:2
Sometimes, when we’re not feeling quite like ourselves, it helps to find ways to help other people. Seeing how your actions can create a positive impact on others may be the Christmas miracle that you need to fully enjoy the spirit of the holiday season.
Random acts of kindness. Doesn’t it feel good when someone does something nice for you, without wanting something in return? You can provide that same feeling for someone else. Pick up some litter, hold open a door, or send “Thank You” cards. There are so many simple acts that you can do for others that can make you and the recipient feel good. For some suggestions on random acts to brighten someone else’s day, you can view this slideshow. Feel free to use any of these, change them up, or create acts of your own. The point is to do something kind for others, no matter how small the act may be.
Volunteer at a food/homeless shelter. There are people in your community that are in need of help, especially during the holidays. Find a shelter near you and find out how you can volunteer your time. They may need help delivering meals, gathering personal items, or serving Christmas dinner. Reach out and find out how you can help.
Deliver toys to children in the hospital. The last place any child wants to be on Christmas morning is in the hospital. Gather up some toys and coloring books from your local dollar store and make arrangements with your local children’s hospital/ward to deliver them. You’ll get to play Santa, or one of his elves, for the day and bring some much-needed smiles to children’s faces.
Deliver cards to hospital patients. For the adults who are spending their Christmas in the hospital, call up your local hospital to find out the protocol for delivering items. Once arrangements are made, handwrite words of kindness in holiday cards and deliver them to the hospital patients.
Surprise a complete stranger. Wrap a few gifts, go for a walk/drive, and give them to people who are walking alone, wishing them a “Merry Christmas” when you deliver the gift. People don’t often expect kindness from strangers, so this will be a nice surprise for the recipient.
Thank your local emergency responders. Our emergency responders are still working on Christmas day. Let them know that you care by delivering gifts, hand-written notes, or even some treats to your local fire or police station. Remember, they’re not spending the holidays with their families either. It would show them that someone out there in the community that they serve appreciates their hard work and sacrifice.
Visit a nursing home. Schedule some time to visit, asking to meet with those who tend to not have many visitors. Play a game of bingo, put together a puzzle, color some pictures in a coloring book, play a card game, and spend some time engaging with them. They’ll be happy to have a break from the norm.
Organize a dinner for others who are by themselves. Call friends who either don’t have family in the area or may know someone that doesn’t have family in the area. Host a dinner in your home, an apartment/ neighborhood clubhouse, or your church. You can choose to prepare the food yourself, have it catered, or ask others to bring a dish. If you want to make it interesting, ask everyone to bring a gift within a given price range and hold a “white elephant” party or assign random numbers to the gifts and participants for gift distribution.
Deliver holiday cards to your neighbors. Go to a dollar store and purchase some Christmas cards. Write a message of kindness to each of your neighbors and deliver them on Christmas day. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and to bring them some holiday cheer. (I have a friend who moved into a new neighborhood. During her family’s first Christmas, they were delivered gifts from all of the neighbors. Apparently, it’s a tradition in that neighborhood, which has brought many of them close together.)
Host an online Christmas party! If hosting a party or dinner in your home isn’t your cup of tea, get a group of Facebook friends together online who have expressed that they have no plans for Christmas. Bring your favorite drink/meal to the table with your laptop and enjoy a virtual meal together. Play conversation games like 21 questions, 2 truths and a lie, Would You Rather, or even Charades.
If the party is scheduled enough in advance and you want to include gifts, assign each other a Secret Santa and send out gifts to be opened during the party. Or, simply order digital items, i.e. e-books, gift cards, etc., that can be sent to your Secret Santa during the online gathering. That way, you still get to enjoy the gift-giving part of the holiday.
As you see, it’s very possible to have a fun, stress-free Christmas when you’re not with family and loved ones. You don’t have to let the holidays get you down. With so many options, you really just need to choose what you want to do and take action.
Spending time alone allows you to be authentically you, doing exactly what you want to do when you want to do it, and gives you the opportunity to be someone else’s Christmas miracle. You may not be alone on this day by choice, but you do have the choice to spend it feeling good about yourself and doing great things for others.
Creator, Strut Your Awesome(tm)
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