Maybe you lost a parent, got a divorce, or are now co-parenting from different households, sometimes these changes can mean your normal traditions are disrupted, especially during the holidays. Perhaps you’ve moved and won’t be able to travel home for the holidays or have a toxic relationship with your family. Whatever the case, these changes could mean not spending the holidays as you once did.

If your holidays are looking a little different this year and you’re anxious about it, here are some things you can try. 

1.)Travel To A New Destination 

More people plan to travel this year than they did in 2019 according to an annual Holiday Outlook 2022 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). You can add yourself to the list of travelers if you’re up for leisure travel and a new experience. Consider knocking a destination off of your bucket list that you’ve been meaning to visit.

What if you’re on a budget? Road trips are still a thing assuming you enjoy long drives. The PwC report says 69% of Americans will be traveling by road anyway. Not surprising when you consider ongoing airline disruptions and inflation. 

2.)Set Up Virtual Calls 

COVID taught many of us that virtual connections are often better than nothing at all. Think about setting up video calls with your loved ones during the holidays so you feel closer to them. You could even set up multiple calls in one day so you can feel like you’re a part of all of your loved one’s festivities. 

You may also schedule specific activities like sharing what you’re thankful for, playing virtual games, or having online karaoke. 

3.)Spend It With A Close Friend 

If your family is not within driving distance and flying is not an option, reach out to a close friend and ask to join their family gathering. It may not be the holiday you planned for, but there’s room for it to be a warm and intimate enjoyable evening.

4.)Volunteer With Seniors 

Although not being able to spend the holidays how you want sucks, there are ways to create a silver lining, and giving back is one. Surf the internet to see if there are any volunteer programs you can join to help people in need. 

Volunteering at nursing homes or senior care facilities is a good example of a way you can give back. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, forty-three percent of seniors report feeling lonely on a regular basis, so they could probably use the extra love. You may also be helping them more than you know as research shows social isolation can have a negative impact on one’s health. It can put people at a higher risk of mental and physical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

If you can’t be there for them physically, the Be a Santa to a Senior program makes it possible for you to send a gift to seniors. Holiday food banks are another general volunteer opportunity that can help you give back and connect with others. 

5.)Plan An Intimate Day With Yourself 

They’re arguably not many people want to spend the holidays alone, but if it’s the only option you’ve got, make the most of it. You can create an intimate day with yourself which comprises all the things you love—food and leisure activities included. Make it fun by creating a schedule for the day or freestyle it if you’re more of a free-flowing type of person.  

While these suggestions may be helpful, they don’t guarantee you’ll have a great holiday season. Even if this year doesn’t end up being one of your best, remember, you can always try again next year. Also, remember to focus on the things you can control and you have permission to make the holidays what you want with what you have.

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