The holiday blues can really get you down this time of year.  Perhaps it’s the first year since a loved one has passed away, or you have lost your job or broken up with your significant other, but whatever the reason, the holidays can be a lonely time.  Apartment Therapy helps you keep your chin up and your spirits high during the holiday season.
If you can’t travel to be with your family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, host a holiday potluck!  Ask around to see if others you know also aren’t leaving town and throw a big party full of food, people and fun.  You may find yourself coming up with excuses to skip the family dinner next year and stay home with friends!
If you feel like your tight finances prevent you from giving gifts, think again!  Use your skills to make, bake or craft gifts for loved ones that will be adored because you put a little of yourself into giving it.  If you won’t be putting up holiday decorations, consider an interior design make-over for your apartment.  Paint a room, sew some new pillows for the couch, or rearrange your furniture for a fresh take on the place you call home.
Make a plan for the New Year, whether it’s a trip, learning a new skill or making another exciting goal come to fruition.  That way you’ll be looking forward to the turn of the calendar rather than dreading a less-than-exciting New Year’s Eve.  Another way to feel better about your situation is to volunteer to help out the less fortunate, whether it be at soup kitchen, a toy drive or other event.  United We Serve is a great way to find volunteer opportunities in your area.
If you plant a smile on your face and reach out to help others, you will instantly lift your mood and the moods of those around you.  Helping others releases happy-making endorphins, just as taking a walk will, another simple way to put a spring in your step.  Other great ways to perk up your mood include taking a solo trip during the holidays, and sending a letter, making a phone call, or having lunch with an old friend.  Finally, if seeing other’s (mostly manufactured) happiness during the holidays gets you down, break up with social media until the new year.  Don’t worry, it will still be there when the calendar rolls over to 2013!