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  • How to stay occupied during the holidays when you’re away from home

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or at least that’s what they say. If you’ve recently moved away from your family and friends, you might be dreading the thought of the holidays. Don’t fret—there are ways to have fun this year in different ways than you might be used to.

    Young woman drinks out of mug by a Christmas tree

    Join a singles group
    You can be alone with other people who are alone! While that may not sound especially comforting, you might just find that spending the holidays with other people who are without a significant other or family near can be therapeutic.

    Volunteer at a soup kitchen
    Nothing will make you thankful for what you have like helping those who are less fortunate than you. You'll see how many people in need are still happy during the holidays and it will lift your spirits. According to Dr. Suzanne Richards, volunteering is associated with lower depression [1]. Head out to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen and spend the day giving back to your community.

    Call your loved ones
    Just because you can't physically be with them, that doesn't mean they can't be involved in your day. They'll be delighted that you want to share a part of your holiday with them. You could even set up a plan to mail each other gifts and open them while you are on the phone with each other.

    Treat yourself
    Have a spa day. Go to the movies. Take a bubble bath. Indulge in a delicious meal. Whatever you do to treat yourself, do it today. The holidays are about being thankful, so give yourself a day that you can appreciate.

    Get ahead on work or school
    You can use this day to get a bunch of work done. When you're home for the holidays, you're incredibly busy. Take a couple of days to really get ahead on your tasks. That way, when you do get a chance to go home, you won't have to worry about falling behind.

    Travel
    If you've got the money, take a trip out of town. Whether you choose to head back and see your loved ones or go somewhere a little more exotic for an alternative holiday, try to plan ahead. Traveling during the holidays requires a little more thought and planning, especially if you're going to be flying. Even going on a road trip a couple hours away can help get your mind off the holidays.

    Maybe you're used to spending the holidays with your loved ones. For whatever reason, that has changed this year. But with a little creativity and a positive attitude, you can surely enjoy the season and even create new traditions. One doesn't have to be the loneliest number!

    [1] How Volunteering Can Lessen Depression and Extend Your Life, Everyday Health



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