Knowing how to survive the holidays after a breakup can be tricky. You’re deep in the throes of cuffing season, but it feels like you’re the only one who just got uncuffed. And, while the festive season is all about spending time with loved ones, it’s also the time of year in which said loved ones ask questions like, “So, planning for any kids soon? The clock is ticking.” Or “Hasn’t that boyfriend of yours proposed yet?”
Those questions can get annoying even when your relationship is in a stable spot. But they become far worse when they get asked when you’re still reeling from a recent breakup.
Breaking up around the holidays can be especially difficult. While your friends are bringing home their significant others to meet the family, you’re just focusing on how to survive the coming months. If you’re struggling with a holiday breakup, we’ve put together seven tips that can help you get through it!
How to Survive the Holidays After a Breakup: 7 Top Tips
1. Don’t miss out on your favorite parts of the holidays
When you’re trying to figure out how to survive the holidays after a breakup, being around people can feel difficult. Before your relationship ended, you probably didn’t notice how many couples ice skate together during the holiday season. Now, even if you usually love skating, you might be inclined to sit out going to the rink this year to avoid the seemingly endless stream of happy couples.
If you’re someone who ordinarily loves the holidays though, don’t let the breakup take away the joy of the festive season. Yes, this year will be harder than the last, but there’s still good cheer to be had.
It’s always good to have an out for if things get too hard as well. If you’re invited to a friend’s party, bring a plus one that’s not a date so that you have someone by your side if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Also, give your host a heads up that you might end up ducking out early. Part of surviving the holidays after a breakup is giving yourself a break and an excuse to do what you need to do.
2. Try to avoid letting your emotions fester
It’s important not to squash your feelings for the sake of everyone else’s holiday. It’s okay to talk to friends and family about how you’re struggling. They want to be there for you, but they can’t if they don’t know how you’re hurting.
Just remember that there’s a time and a place. Talking to a friend one-on-one over a pre-Christmas brunch is different from bringing up your breakup in every conversation you have at a party.
3. Be prepared for questions
Seems like a double-edged sword, right? You shouldn’t talk about your breakup with everyone throughout the holidays, but your family keeps bringing it up. While there’s nothing you can do to permanently shut down those invasive questions, coming prepared with a canned answer can help navigate those frustrating waters.
Even family members with the best of intentions can end up triggering difficult feelings, but having a standard answer can discourage any more questions. The next time your mom says, “Are you sure it’s over? You seemed like such a good match,” simply respond, “We decided we don’t work well together as a couple and we’ll not be getting back together.”
If that’s not enough, say outright that you do not want to talk about it anymore because you’d rather focus on enjoying the holidays together.
4. Watch your alcohol intake
When thinking about how to survive the holidays after a breakup, you might be tempted to drown your sorrows in glass after glass of wine. And while that might feel good at the start, it’ll only make things worse later on.
Alcohol’s a depressant, so you’ll likely feel really low when you wake up in the morning — hungover — and discover the 15 drunken text messages that you sent to your ex the night before. Try to steer clear of downing shots for the sake of your sanity.
5. If you already bought a gift, return it
If you break up with someone right before the gift-giving season, get rid of that gift. Don’t send it to your ex anonymously, don’t re-gift it, just get rid of it. Allowing that gift to take up space in your mind will make the holidays much harder.
6. Take a break from social media
If you think that you’re seeing couples everywhere in real life around the holidays, social media is going to be worse. Instagram is filled with perfect couple photos, complete with filters and a whole lot of staging.
Even though you know in the back of your mind that these photos aren’t real life, it’s still going to hurt to see all those “happy” couples, so take a social media break for the holiday season.
7. No holiday rebounds
Whether you run into your high school ex or just happen to match with an old crush on Zoosk, don’t fall into the trap of the rebound. You’re not ready for another relationship. Plus, “no strings attached” doesn’t usually work when it’s with people you have to see regularly (or may end up running into every time you go see your parents).
Spend some time reconnecting with yourself and focus on being with non-romantic loved ones who can help you to survive the holidays after a tough breakup.
Embrace Singledom This Holiday Season
You’re not the first person to wonder how to survive the holidays after a breakup. They’re hard at any time of the year but come November and December, they get tougher. Yet, there’s still reason to be positive! Although the fact that you’re single this festive season probably means that it won’t be as carefree as the last year, keeping these seven tips in mind can help to ensure that you still have a happy holiday season with your loved ones.