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Holiday Survival Tips: Mitigate Loneliness by Becoming Your Own Holiday Date
Date:11/3/2008

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The holiday season is a time of tradition, which comes with expectations of happiness. The perception that families and friends get together to celebrate and people are jolly and joyful, doesn't always ring true.

For many people, holiday perceptions and expectations only ignite -- or increase -- feelings of isolation and loneliness. Those feelings can lead to depression. So what can you do to help mitigate the "holiday blues?" The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists offer the following survival tips:

-- Go anyway. Don't opt out of invitations because you "have no one to go with." Summon the courage to attend events by yourself with grace and style.

-- Plan the perfect solo date. Go on a hike, to the movies, the park, or museum. Pamper yourself at a spa. You can go wherever you want and it'll be the perfect occasion for you, since you picked it.

-- Reach out. Just because you feel alone it doesn't mean you can't connect with others. Families and friends may be far away, but they are only a phone call away. Let people know you care and you're thinking of them during this time.

-- Discover a hobby. Remember when you wanted to learn how to play the guitar or how to knit, but you never had the time? Well, here is your chance to pick up that Fender and rock out! The holiday season is an excellent time to find new hobbies or brush up on old ones.

-- Take advantage of time off. The holiday season often means time off from work or school. Use this time to breathe deeply, unwind, and relieve the stresses you've built up during the year.

-- Volunteer. Nonprofit and community service agencies often need a helping hand during the holiday season. Find an organization that resonates with your values and pitch in.

-- Plan a potluck. Invite your acquaintances and co-workers over for a get-together. Tell everyone to bring their favorite dish to contribute to the meal.
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SOURCE California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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