I am posting this article written by my writer Ashlyn Neves. The original post can be found here: http://stgnews.com/archive/389/how-to-survive-the-holidays-single.
Taylor Swift has maybe one song I really like. It’s not that I don’t think she’s talented; I’m just not 13 anymore. In her song, “Christmases when you were mine,” Swift sings, “I bet you got your mom another sweater, and were your cousins late again? When you were putting up the lights this year, did you notice one less pair of hands?”
The song explains exactly why we struggle over a break up and it doesn’t have to be near a holiday. When you truly love someone, you end up missing the little things about him that you observed over time. Whether it’s if he got his mom the same present each year, always used a certain after-shave or bought the exact same pack of gum, it’s something you subconsciously became used to having in your life.
After a break up, opening the same pack of gum, smelling the peppermint scent you were used to associating with him, is enough to drive you to tears. I have a friend who slept in a completely different room for a week after her boyfriend moved out because she couldn’t stand seeing the empty spot on the floor next to the bed where he used to drop his stuff after work instead of putting it away– something that drove her crazy when they were together.
It’s completely normal to struggle with these little things that you may not have noticed when he was there. But for some reason it’s a little harder when a break up happens just before the holidays. Depression is generally higher around Christmas anyway. That may be in part to the colder weather and the days becoming darker earlier than before, but I think it’s mostly because Christmas is supposed to be a wonderful time of year. And lets face it, it’s quite difficult to feel wonderful when the man you loved is gone, regardless of who ended the relationship.
But the good news is, there are ways to get through it. I don’t believe it happens over night and you will probably have a relapse, or several, as you try to get through the memories and heartache. But if you really want to move on, you’re going to have to put some effort into it.
The worse thing you can do is to begin dating someone else right away. I know it’s lonely, and you think someone cuter, taller, stronger is great revenge. But the person who ends up getting hurt is usually you, and sometimes you drag an innocent man into the revenge game with you. But the second worse thing you can do is to be alone. Gather up your friends: close friends, friends you haven’t seen in awhile, family friends, anyone willing to help you stay busy. A friend once told me, “Friends don’t let friends think too much after a break up.”
Grab your friends
So grab your friends and keep yourself busy. You don’t necessarily need to go out. In fact, sometimes that’s worse because if you go to a movie, you might start thinking about the last movie you saw with him. If you go to a new restaurant, you might wonder what he would have thought of the food. So go to your girlfriend’s house and do your nails, watch a comedy, try cooking a new dish together, gossip. When you’re having fun with people you care about, it gets him off your mind for a little while.
Find your passion
Do you like to horseback ride, read books, draw or paint, cook? When we are in a relationship we tend to let things go that once meant a great deal to us. I have a guy friend that is struggling right now because he doesn’t have a hobby. He works long days, but has nothing to do at night. He used to love archery and skeet shooting, but has lost the desire to do those things. Now is the time to get back into it. Join a group that shares the same passion you do and you’ll get more involved in your hobby.
Boost your self-esteem
After a difficult break up, one of the first things I did was go to the salon. I got my hair colored and trimmed, and my nails done. Soon after I started working out again and eventually starting a kickboxing exercise. The best revenge is knowing that you’ll probably run into your ex, and you’ll look amazing.
You’ve heard that before, right? But it truly is amazing how uplifting it is to help others, and what better time than the holidays? Of course, check in with the group you want to volunteer with in advance, some of them actually get booked up during the holidays with a lot of volunteers. Volunteering can also be making homemade gifts for neighbors, family and loved ones – but not him.
What have you been putting off?
Maybe now is the time to finish those projects you’ve been putting off, you know that half-sewn blanket in your closet, that chair you bought the fabric for but haven’t reupholstered, shampooing your carpets, writing those thank you letters. If you’re anything like me, you have a list, and now is the time to get it done.
And if all else fails, go to Vegas.