Do something totally different your first holiday alone. If you've never traveled at Christmas before, travel. Whatever you do, don't try to revive your old holiday traditions. You'll just be setting yourself up for heartache.
Do something for others. I immersed myself in charity work, filling stockings for salvation army children, knitting caps for chemo patients, and even looking into working at a soup kitchen. The extra benefit in doing such work is that you meet new people. You are also empowering yourself to get up and do something, and not passively waiting for things to happen to you.
If you get along with your family, spend the holidays with them. If you don't get along with your family, spend the holidays with a good friend. You need to be surrounded by people who care for you, won't pressure you or rag on you, and who are willing to listen when you need to talk.
Don't spend New Year's Eve in a large crowd with strangers or with a group of couples who have invited you as a tag along. There is no sadder feeling than to be alone among strangers when you are feeling so raw, or to be reminded in a group of couples that you are the lone single person. That first year find a cozier, more intimate situation. Or arrange to do something that you truly love to do, like skiing or hiking or watching old movies.
Control your weight and maintain an exercise regimen. Easier said than done, I know, but there's no headier feeling than feeling strong and fit. If you begin to eat all those Christmas sweets and goodies that people give you, you'll soon start to feel sluggish and even more depressed. This is the one area in your life where you can maintain some control. Just don't overdo it. Exercise moderation in all things, including alcohol.
Seek out an old friend at the start of the new year and begin an email relationship. I emailed a man I had met in New Zealand and wished him Happy New Year. We reestablished a connection (he was a friend of a friend), and we began to email each other daily. It was so nice to see his greeting in my inbox every morning. Our relationship went nowhere, but his male attentions stroked my ego during a fragile time in my life, and this boost acted like a tonic. This relationship had repercussions down the road, though. So be careful how you maintain your friendships with the opposite sex. (More on this subject later.)
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