The holiday season can be a tricky time to be single, even if you’ve been that way for a while, even if you’re totally comfortable with it the other 11 months of the year. Some weird single holiday haze descends and makes the most well-adjusted among us feel like a lousy lumps of unwanted coal. Spending time with your family can, well, make you feel vulnerable and stressed. Sleeping in your childhood bed (or a pull out cot in my case while my brother and his wife take my bed) can, well, make you feel as bitter and lonely as the Grinch. The combination of Hallmark ephemera, sentimental Foldger’s commercials, and old black and white movies playing on a loop can make you, well, overly emotional and temporarily insane. All of the above may cause you do naughty things. Like, think it’s a good idea to contact say, an ex that you know you shouldn’t. Don’t let this happen to you. Nowhere in the rules of Holiday does it say that you should extend kindness and good will to some not-good-for-you douche bag. The holidays are NOT a valid excuse for fraternizing with ghosts of relationships past. In fact, it will probably only make you feel worse. Once the haze has lifted all you’ll be left with is the lingering shame … and there’s no gift receipt for that. It’s not worth it. After the jump, some ways to keep this holiday season ex-free
1. Erase all ex numbers from your phone and hide all applicable profiles on Facebook. It’s like keeping ice cream out of your fridge if you’re on a diet. If you know you are susceptible to bouts of delusional holiday nostalgia, protect yourself by ex-proofing all electronic devices. I like to erase all “high risk” phone numbers and write them in a journal with a list of all of his most undesirable traits next to it. That way, if I have the urge to send a text, I am instantly reminded of all the reasons I shouldn’t.
2. Exercise a lot. You will be accomplishing a few things at once; keeping your mind occupied, staying healthy, and spending time away from all ex-proofed electronic devices.
3. Emotionally eat and drink (a little). Don’t eat the whole pie or drink the whole bottle, but a little indulgence will make you feel merry, not to mention that sugar rush. Provided you are exercising enough (see #2), the physical repercussions should be minimal and the emotional repercussions are less severe than ex encounters.
4. Spread your joy, not your legs. Nothing puts priorities in focus like a little do-gooding. Volunteer at a food bank, buy a present for a needy child, or visit a nursing home. Suddenly, feeling sorry for yourself that you’re single will feel lame. And you’ll be reminded of how selfish your ex was. That bastard.
5. Give yourself the gift of makeover. Depending on your budget of course, give yourself a present that you can afford. Get a new haircut, a pair of heels, a dress, a mani-pedi, or a sparkly trinket to make yourself feel hot and open to new prospects should Santa and his elves be so kind as to send them. You wrote him a letter, right? Hope he got it.
6. Make the yule tide gay. Literally. Hang out with your gay boyfriend and not your ex boyfriend. Keep your dance card full of activities that you like to do with a male person you like to do them with. Ice skating, karaoke, or shopping will be way more fabulous.
7. Make a list and check it twice. Put together a list of all the reasons he’s naughty and doesn’t deserve to hear from a good girl like you ever again. Then toss it into the fire along with those chestnuts. If your brother finds it, he’ll never let you live it down.
8. Make plans and backup plans, and backups to the backup plans. Boredom leads to bad decisions. Make sure you know who is around over the holidays to deck the halls with and who is available to emergency phone calls should you find your resolve caving at 2 am after a viewing of “An Affair To Remember.”
Got any other suggestions for avoiding the dreaded ex dial? Share ‘em in the comments!