Single on Christmas

Hi Meredith,

I have been a reader for a while now, and now with the holidays fast approaching, I need some advice. How does one survive the holidays single? I am 38 years old, just out of a relationship (a few weeks ago). Not really sure of the real reason for the split, just mutual that we needed space. However, the holidays are fast approaching and everywhere I turn, I am reminded that I am single. It's been a slow adjustment back to being single over the past few weeks. Although there never really is a good time to break up, breaking up over the holidays is tough. Most of my friends and acquaintances are married or dating, so getting together with them this time of year is also a challenge. This time of year can get depressing, and I am trying not to dwell on my new status, however, it's tough when I think of being by myself this time of year. How does a 38-year-old survive being alone during the holidays and start fresh in the coming New Year?

– Flying solo

1. Be a little gluttonous. If there's one less person celebrating you this holiday season, you must celebrate yourself. Get yourself something nice. Treat yourself to a great pre-Christmas dinner. Reward yourself for getting through this breakup.

2. Buy a lot of groceries today because everything will close up Christmas. An empty fridge can be depressing.

3. Don't be afraid of couples. I understand that married people are often busy and that it's no fun to feel like a third wheel, but you can't limit your circle to other singles. Sometimes it's uplifting to be around a good relationship. And couples want company, too.

4. Do not watch "Love, Actually" because you will get sad about Emma Thompson. You can watch that "Harry Potter" marathon on ABC Family.

5. Take a walk Christmas morning. It'll be nice to see other people outside that day. Some of those people will be alone. It'll remind you that not everyone is sitting in pairs under a tree. Also, exercise is good for your mood.

6. Remember that it's lonelier to be in the wrong relationship than it is to be alone. You wouldn't want to spend the holidays coupled but desperate for space. This is better.

Readers? Any tips to add to the list?

– Meredith