It’s a new holiday season. If you are on social media and are newly single, you may find yourself navigating through this season in a bit of a fog. Or maybe this is another year around the sun, and the loneliness of the holidays seems to suffocate you with every family photo session, tree cutting ritual, or frequent “He went to Jared” commercials. You want to halt the cycle of the holiday monotony. I am there with you. And this year, I’ve decided to break the tradition, go against the grade, and reprogram the story.
My new life as a single adult and single parent is not what some would define as “new.” I’ve been down this road before. I am not proud of this statement, but this is my reality. I truly believe that healing can only be transformative when we acknowledge where we are, where we’ve been, and declare where we will never go again. I tend to be proactive. With holidays approaching, I knew that I needed a plan. Not only did I need a plan, but my precious teen babies also needed to know that the uncontrollable circumstances around them should not define the holiday season. It was time for me to change the tune and create a new melody. One that will harmonize well in this season but be subject to change as life goes on. A large part of my healing journey is attributed to the experiences outside of my home. I hope you will find the tools and support you need to begin writing your new narrative and defining your new holiday traditions.
My first tip for you mamas is to plan ahead. Holidays post-COVID are tortuous on the wallet and require a great bit of creativity. The best investment in my singleness was downgrading from an SUV to a smaller car. I have not yet heard that children will have PTSD if parents cannot transport their friends. However, if this is the case, our role as moms is to give them great material for their current and/or future therapist.
Amidst the gasoline price debate, I am sure to take particular care of my Toyota. My Toyota reads “DAMAMA” on the rear license plate. Yes, this sweet gas saver is a blessing to my wallet.
My next piece of advice is to get out of your head, ladies. Often the most difficult decisions are how we will make the actual decision. Jump into a new lodging option. Airbnb is your friend. Airbnb allows you to stay away with ease. A home, cabin, or apartment affords you the potential luxury of quiet mornings and still nights. Many Airbnb units are a fraction of the hotel cost around the holidays. Booking early opens the door to various destinations at a very reasonable rate. Additionally, Airbnb hosts will give you cost-effective options closer to your geographical region.
Summer spots offer cheap thrills. Many locations provide discounted tickets and rates in their “off-season.” Locations such as Mackinaw Island and Amish country Bed and Breakfasts are just a couple. This provides your family with new experiences, traditions, and the less hustle and bustle that may accompany the summer season.
Don’t forget to embed a self-care routine into your holiday regimen. Train for that holiday run. There are many running groups in our Indianapolis area, which may be true of other highly populated regions. Social media can support your quest to find the right training groups to support your holiday fitness goals. Sign up for that Santa Fun Run before the negative thoughts kick in. Once you’ve signed up, post the confirmation on social media. This is great accountability. Use your social media platform to connect with running groups. Let group members know that you are either new to running or looking for a running group. Let the running group know that you’ve registered for the upcoming race and need a training buddy. Running, walking, or just moving consistently is a great way to beat the holiday blues and kick 2021 in the butt.
Lastly, solicit your team, a.k.a. your kids. Ask them about how you can collaboratively create new traditions. Consider their ideas and get creative. Take a holiday baking class. Do you have adult children? Holiday wine and canvas outings are a great way to enjoy the season.
Remember, this is your journey. It would be best if you nurture your mental health. This is a great time to ask yourself what you enjoy. If you enjoy it, in moderation, do it. If it rocks your peace, abruptly exit the trail and find a new path.