The holiday season is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, full of magic, love, and laughter. If you’ve just gone through a breakup, though, magic seems nothing more than a thing of fairy-tales, love is equal to heartbreak, and laughing isn’t something you feel like doing any time soon.
Surrounded by people, you might still feel so alone, and it can be especially hard to go through a breakup during the holiday season. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though; here are some ways to help yourself move on during the holidays.
1. Have a prepared response when people ask you what happened.
The worst part about dealing with a breakup around this time of the year is that all of your family is in town and everyone is going to want to know what happened between you and your ex. The easiest thing to do is to just have a prepared response to give them. It can be a short, simple, “I don’t want to talk about it until the holidays are over,” or “It just didn’t work out.”
Be prepared to say it a lot, but a short, one-liner response that gets you out of talking about the breakup for now will go a long way when all of your cousins and aunts are asking why your guy isn’t here for Christmas with you. Not everyone needs to know your business, and you aren’t obligated to share with anyone who asks.
2. Spoil yourself.
Hopefully you haven’t spent a ton of money on Christmas gifts for your guy yet, so you can splurge a little on yourself instead. Take yourself out for a spa day before hitting up any holiday parties; when you look good, you’ll feel good and have more confidence to go to them alone. If you’ve already bought your man a gift that you aren’t sure what to do with now, see if you can return the item and get your money back and put it to better use.
You got one less person to spoil at Christmas, so use the extra money to make yourself feel good. I know it’s supposed to be the season of giving, but you just went through a breakup–you deserve a little selfishness right now.
3. Surround yourself with your friends.
This is true no matter when you go through a breakup, but especially around the holiday season. If you find yourself alone too much, you’ll end up dwelling on all the people you see around you, staring daggers at the happy couples sharing a kiss on New Year’s Eve at midnight.
By surrounding yourself with friends–preferably friends who aren’t going to keep bringing up the breakup–you will keep yourself distracted and hopefully prevent a seeping depression from overtaking you.
4. Remember that you don’t have to go to every party.
While it’s good to spend lots of time with your friends, of course there will be moments that you just can’t. There will be evenings that you just can’t bring yourself to put on makeup, doll yourself up, and put on a fake smile when all you want to do is stay home and cry. That’s okay. Don’t feel obligated to go to every party or holiday event that you’ve been invited to. You’re going to need some alone time, so get a stash of your favorite holiday treat, put on your comfiest pajamas and stay home to watch the holiday movie marathon that’s playing on television.
5. Use your days off wisely.
Everybody gets at least a couple of days off from school or work during the holidays, so use yours to do something worthwhile. What’s something you have been wanting to do for a long time, but that maybe you didn’t have time for because your relationship was taking priority, or that your ex just didn’t want you to do for some reason? Now is your chance; you have no one to answer to and no reason to say no to yourself. Use your time off to do something that makes you happy and makes you feel good.
The holiday season can be the hardest time of the year to go through a breakup, but try not to let it ruin your holiday cheer. It may not be the most wonderful time of year for everybody, but you don’t have to let it be the worst either. Spend your holiday wisely, and you might just realize that you’ve already gotten over the breakup by the time that the new year rolls around!