The holidays can be a wonderful time of year. The decorations, festive music, and images of families sharing happy memories inspire holiday cheer and togetherness.
But the holidays may be stressful for those unable to connect with family because of a deployment or geographical separation. For singles, the idea of spending the holidays alone can create isolation, loneliness, or disconnectedness.
However, it is still possible to celebrate the season with the spirit of joy, even if spending this time away from family.
Here are some creative tips for holiday connectedness despite the distance:
- Keep family traditions and create new ones. Continuing traditions while apart can make the tradition more meaningful. Allow yourself to accept new experiences by sharing in others’ traditions, finding something new to experience on your own, or celebrating with new friends.
- Spend time together in unique ways. Use social media or video chatting to stay connected. Recorded video messages can be shared with others throughout the holiday season.
- Celebrate with friends, neighbors, or fellow Marines. Plan a volunteer activity by yourself, or with a group of other single warfighters or coworkers. A “Friendsgiving” style gathering promotes social bonding and shows gratitude for the people you rely on throughout the year.
- Recharge and reflect on the upcoming year. Take this moment of holiday downtime for quiet, personal reflection. Review successes, challenges, and set new goals for the upcoming year. Visit the installation gym or recreation center or reconnect with hobbies you ere normally too busy for.
- Practice gratitude for loved ones. Spend time writing letters or calling friends and family, thanking them for their love and support. Gratitude helps refocus on what an individual has, instead of what one does not have.
Contact the Family Advocacy Program, Semper Fit, or the Single Marine Program for more information and support.