By now, on Christmas Eve Day and the last day of Hanukkah, you or some people you know have surely experienced the stresses of the holiday season--especially if recently single. Or single for a long time and feeling bad about it!
Well, congratulations! Ya'll made it through the anxiety of having to find a halfway decent date for the office party. (And if your anxieties have been running even deeper, you should probably check out this great resource from my friend, Dr. Chloe Carmichael.) You've wrapped (or are now wrapping) the gifts. And if you are a NYC Jew heading to The Matzo Ball, you've probably even chosen your outfit! Awesome! Surviving the holidays single-Italian American Style- is all about living the good life. Its a strategy for everyone--not just the paesanos!
Whether you are getting ready for a night on the town with friends or The Feast of The Seven Fishes at home with the fam, you are exactly where you should be after a recent breakup or years of singledom--and that is with people who care about you, of course.
When it comes to surviving the holidays as a single, a strong support system is key. If you want to do it (or anything) Italian American Style, you aren't going at it alone--which leads me to.......
Survival Tip #1: Surround yourself with good peeps and good food.
No one really wants to be alone during the holidays, but being single at this time isn't a reason to creep into an ex's bedroom at 3am or settle for the random hookup at the bar. Instead, it is an opportunity to reconnect with friends, family, and all those people you ignored when you were with your ex. "Cheers to La Dolce Vita" is a lot easier to toast to when you've got delicious foods, festive drinks, and special people by your side. Oh and if you need some inspiration with the food and drinks, be sure to check out my Instagram page, where I'll naturally be sharing some of my Italian American holiday faves.
Survival Tip #2: Sta 'zitto: In other words, shut up about being single, already!
It isn't the worst thing in the world to have no one to kiss underneath the mistletoe. Really. The more you complain about your single status, the more negativity you attract to your love life and the less fun everyone has at the holiday party. Also, in regard to your ex, keep your mouth shut! The past is the past. Your friends and family will be supportive, to a point. But lengthy conversations about the ex could wear out your welcome, especially at a bright and jolly time like Christmastime.
Survival Tip # 3: Stay strong and don't give in to temptation to be in an unhealthy relationship or revisit an old one now.
Sure, you and your ex are both home for the holidays, but it doesn't mean you need to get in touch or, God forbid, send gifts to the family's home. Rather, if you read my book, How To Get Over Your Ex: A Step By Step Guide To Mend A Broken Heart Italian American Style, you'll see that I insist on a strict-no-contact-policy with exes until you have both gotten over the romantic relationship. This goes for people you've been kinda-sorta-dating who are no longer serving you at this exact moment either. If you aren't shining as brightly as the Christmas lights on the tree when you are with them, well.....................
Don't give in to someone you shouldn't be with, get caught up in being lonely, or miss out on the food, friends, and family of the season because you are single and don't want to be. Italian Americans are a strong people, and if you want to survive and thrive through at this time, you should be too.
Good Luck & Happy Holidays, Singles!
As the holiday greetings flood our inbox, and we are prompted to send a card to yet another person we haven't seen in months, we are reminded that this is the season of giving.
As I said in a recent media interview, the best "present" we can give anyone else is the ability to be present and loving in our relationships. Yet many of us are slacking in relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners. Some of us are so bad at being in the moment and treating people with kindness that Santa would surely put coal in our stockings.
When we are broken- hearted, we push away those who care about us most. Whether we don't want them to see our weakness or hate to burden them with our misery, we disconnect from them. We focus so much on the person missing from our life that we don't acknowledge the amazing individuals who were there cheering us on all along.
When we are single without any prospective NYE dates in sight, we sometimes get disillusioned with the holidays. We decide NYE is just another night when there is no one special to share it with. So instead of calling up all the friends we've had special bonds with in the past and present, we make no plans. We either say "eff" it all and ring in the new year in our pajamas with Ben & Jerry or do something lame at the last minute with someone else who thinks holidays are only worth celebrating when we have an other half.
And when we do have an other half, well, we tend to take them for granted in the middle of all the holiday-party-shopping-decorating-madness. We might make them string the lights on the Christmas tree alone after ten years of marriage or decide a Christmas tree is too much effort after twenty.
Well, newsflash: The holidays and the relationships you have with the people you spend them with are not meant to be half-assed! My advice during this time of year is to treat the people in your life in the best way you can. It will make you feel better about love and life--no matter what your status. By the way, if your status is broken-hearted, now is as good of time to get over your ex as any!
In the meantime, in the spirit of giving, I am offering complimentary fifteen minute consultations for any of my newsletter subscribers who could use some advice in the relationship department. Just email me at Rachel@RachelRusso.com before the end of 2014 to reserve your spot! If you aren't subscribed, you can subscribe today on this website for free once- weekly posts delivered to your inbox, with love.
And, oh: Happy Holidays!
Well, it's officially "the most wonderful time of year........................"
Along with eggnog, greeting cards, Christmas trees, and holiday parties galore, comes a little something called ANXIETY.
With so much to do and so many emotions that come up from the holidays of the past and the family gatherings in the present, it is no wonder our mental health suffers. The holiday season can be tough no matter what our relationship status, but it often becomes increasingly difficult when we are single. It's so nice to have someone special in your life during this season, but if you don't, there's always next year! Are you looking for a solution to get through the meantime?
Aren't we all?
Well, you're in luck! After some thought-provoking conversation over a delicious Italian dinner at Davio's with the lovely Manhattan-based psychologist, Dr. Chloe Carmichael, I'm pleased as punch to share your Rx for dating-related anxiety this holiday season. It goes something like this:
1. Understand that you aren't alone with your dating-related anxiety.
Ever wonder why dating causes so many people to stress? "Dating rolls social anxiety, performance anxiety, fear of abandonment, and intimacy issues all into one. Many dating clients find it helpful to have a roadmap for how to manage all these pieces," explains Carmichael. She recommends dating multiple people as an effective strategy for singles who want to manage the inevitable disappointments of the dating scene. " If someone doesn't call, or seems to randomly disappear after a few seemingly good dates, you'll have an easier time managing the disappointment if you've kept at least having first dates with others," says Carmichael.
Well, if you don't have a ring on your finger, there's really nothing wrong with a little winter rotation, now is there?
2. Don't use the fact that you aren't alone with your anxiety as an excuse to prevent you from doing something about it.
While it's comforting to know that you aren't the only person who has ever suffered from anxiety and that there are in fact many who struggle, don't think your baseline is normal and just fine. Don't be content where you are or you'll stay stagnant. For instance, if you've experienced anxiety about getting back into the dating scene post -breakup, you can acknowledge that your feelings are common. As Carmichael says: “Breakups are very anxiety provoking because we're dealing with a lot of sadness but one of our biggest support systems is gone- so it feels like a double whammy.” However, this is no reason to Facebook message your ex like it's your job!
Instead, choose a behavior that Carmichael and I give the thumbs up to! She suggests contacting a “breakup buddy” or a person you message when you feel the urge to get in touch with your ex. I second that notion. I say get over your ex Italian American Style- as I suggest in my recent segment on Uncle Floyd Radio-and get on to picture yourself with someone better! (By the way if you listen to the interview I come on about an hour and ten minutes in.) The point is: If you make excuses for yourself, you'll never improve your love life.
3. Do something about it:
If you'd rather not let your soul die a slow and painful anxiety-inspired death, make a plan to take action. If you'd like to get started on fighting the battle of anxiety in an efficient and inexpensive way from the comfort of your own home, check out this anxiety webinar offered by Dr Carmichael. The webinar is fantastic--easy to understand, with great techniques for anxiety management, and visually appealing too. I wholeheartedly recommend it to my clients and friends.With my discounted code "ITALIAN", you can get ten percent off any product on the site. Its totally worth it to give this a whirl.
Good luck to you and your anxiety during this holiday season. And remember, if you are breathing, you are "too blessed to be stressed"!
If you or someone you know needs help getting over an ex this holiday season, contact the BookMark Shoppe at 718 833 5115 for your copy of my book, How To Get Over Your Ex: A Step By Step Guide To Mend A Broken Heart Italian American Style--with free shipping now through January 1rst.
I’m on the radio! UncleFloydRadio.com, to be exact.
So if you have an internet connection and can make it up until 8PM EST after all that turkey and stuffing you had this weekend, read on......
Because who really goes to bed before 8PM EST, anyway?
If you'd like to speak with the famous Uncle Floyd "from deep in the heart of Jersey" at anytime on the show, call the studio line at 201 289 8200.
Also, you can call in for your chance to win an autographed copy of my book, How To Get Over Your Ex: A Step By Step Guide To Mend A Broken Heart Italian American Style. When you hear the cue to call in, just dial the studio line and guess what song is playing.
If you don't win the book-which is sure to make a great holiday gift for anyone who hearts Italian American culture-you can get an autographed copy at The BookMark Shoppe with free shipping from now until the end of 2014. Call 718 833 5115 to order.