Author
"Put your phone down and start filling your itinerary with things that make you happy."

How to deal with loneliness during the holidays

Candid advice from relationship columnist, Jen Kirsch. This week she
gives tips on how to handle Christmas after a brutal breakup.

Dear Jen Kirsch,

We had a great four years together but after a really tough past eight
months, my boyfriend and I decided to break up. This will be my first
Christmas without him since 2008. I’m really worried about being
lonely, and may have uncontrollable urges to text him. I guess I’m
just dreading the next few weeks. What should I do to prevent having a
complete meltdown? Don’t even get me started with NYE. Everything
around me is all cheery and I feel like a sack of shit.

Signed,
Lonely Christmas Elf

————-

Dear Lonely Christmas Elf,

It’s easy to replay the happy montage, especially during this
nostalgic time of year, but let’s not forget the B-roll: All those
good reasons, big and small, that led you to decide it was better for
the two of you to be apart. You broke up because it was the right
thing to do and I bet deep down, you know that.  Your challenge is to
get used to this change and newfound freedom, without giving into your
urges, which – may I point out – only occur when you’re feeling lonely
and focusing on the happiness of others.  Put your phone down and
start filling your itinerary with things that make you happy.

Some suggestions:

Take up yoga.  Studios don’t allow you to bring your phone into them,
so not only will it keep you in check, but you will also release
endorphins and notice a change in your mind and body, which will no
doubt bring your down, depressed self up.

Make fun happen. Have some of your closest girlfriends over for a
potluck dinner.  Not only will you get to have fun and banter with
your besties, but by hosting a potluck, it will take away from the
stress of preparing (and funding) a dinner party.

STAY OFF TWITTER! As for social media, do yourself (and everyone) a
favour and NEVER, under any circumstances, write passive aggressive
status updates or tweets a la Rob Kardashian.  That means no lyrics
that say how you feel, and no accusations about cheating and the like.
It makes people feel uncomfortable and draws what should be a
personal situation out into the open. The anger you feel will pass in
time, I promise.

Keep your FB private. Consider deleting him from your social media
networks so you’re not triggered by his actions.

Self Care. Right now, it’s all about doing what you need to do to feel
better. Use the holidays to focus on doing things you love with people
you love.

When Christmas eve and day arrive, instead of sitting watching Love,
Actually and The Holiday, the obvious go-to RomComs, challenge
yourself to try some new recipes to contribute to your family dinner.
At all costs, don’t message him.  It’s not time yet.

Change is hard but you have taken the first steps. Good for you!
You’ve already given yourself the best Christmas gift. Just think of
how exciting 2013 can be.

Signed,

Jen Kirsch

2 Comments

  1. December 17, 2012

    […] glam to the table, Jen Kirsch, who has made a name for herself as Toronto’s Carrie Bradshaw, will pen a weekly relationship advice column geared at our younger twenty-something audience. And in another advice column, I will take a crack […]

  2. January 3, 2013

    This is really great, grown-up advice, but if Lonely Christmas Elf is anything like me, she sat around in her ex’s pajamas eating processed cheese, watching BBCA all day, and sporadically crying uncontrollably. Let’s not forget the slip up texts (all three of them, including Christmas Day and Drunk New Year’s Eve editions). But maybe she took this advice and was better than me? Here’s to hoping.
     
    On the upside, I also spent time with friends, ate good food (Dim Sum!), and stopped to enjoy a sunset or two. These things, even though they were peppered in with utter melancholy and existential crisis, definitely helped me keep my chin up. Even if said chin was dripping with tears. I guess what I’m trying to say is, sometimes all you can do is be ridiculous and wait it out.

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