7 Ways to Feel Fulfilled This Holiday Season

Tips on transforming alone time into opportunity.

Dec 14, 2020

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This year, the holidays may have a different feel. With many families and friends not celebrating together, this presents an opportunity to reach out and to look within. Now is the time to forge new bonds with others, yet make new and exciting discoveries about yourself.

Although this may not encourage bonding time in the traditional sense, there are still many opportunities that open the door to connection and depth. Besides, when you do things differently and stir up your life, unexpected beauty may happen! Here are seven interesting ways to add “spice” to your holiday season.

Join a social club online

Social networking online is booming. You can pick any special interest or hobby and find a club online, often with members from all over the world. There are virtual book clubs, cooking clubs, dancing groups, yoga groups, and more. The popular website Meetup has 28 million members. And with 18,000 online groups, Meetup has a social group for everyone’s interest.

Feel like singing? “Life is better when we’re singing together,” according to the The Sofa Singers site. This choral group brings together hundreds of people from all over the world, with fellow members claiming singing with others is heart opening.

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Get a virtual penpal

You can send holiday greetings to friends and family, but how about sending a warm letter of greeting to a penpal? With the whole world experiencing some form of lockdown these days, now is a great time to make a friend in a foreign country and brighten each other up.

There are many pen pal websites online, including PenPal World and Interpals. When you sign up, you get your own online mailbox, and can then connect with people all over the world. If there is a foreign language you would like to learn or improve, find a penpal to practice with!

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Volunteer

Reach out and help others. You may find this will bring you incredible satisfaction, and during these times, there is an incredible need for your assistance. You can volunteer online by leading activities. If you play an instrument, share your talent with others on Zoom, or volunteer to call people who are feeling alone.

In the UK, Crisis is looking for volunteers to help out with special events being held in December and January. They also need drivers, kitchen staff, and will welcome everyone who wants to lend a helping hand. In the US, many non-profits could use extra help right now including assisting food at banks, Meals on Wheels, homeless shelters, and food pantries.

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Keep connected with friends and family

Everyone knows how important connection, community, and friendship are. Being out of touch can be especially hard for seniors and for those who are not used to using technology. Once you harness the world of internet, social media, and apps, you will realize you are living in a global village.

Make a dinner date with a friend via a WhatsApp video call or on Zoom, then clink glasses and make a New Year’s toast together. Create WhatsApp groups with friends and family or friend people on Facebook. 

Keep in touch regularly and ask friends how they are doing. Join Nextdoor, a private social networking platform designed to connect neighbors. You can also play many online games with a friend. One example is Jigsaw Puzzles, offering fun and challenging multiplayer puzzles that you do together online.

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Stay in touch with work friends

If you are on furlough or working from home, you can easily feel isolated. Although there may not be a traditional office Christmas party this year, you can still get together and have fun!

There are many creative ways to keep in touch with colleagues at the office during these times. Arrange a weekly Zoom call with buddies and set aside time to talk about things other than work. Another idea is to play a game online together. Mental Floss describes all the favorite classic board games that are found online. 

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Exercise!

Perhaps your local gym is closed or your favorite yoga studio is not offering classes. Don’t let this force you onto the couch! Make sure you spend time outside every day. A great way to get outdoors and connect socially is to go for a walk with a friend.

There are also walking groups you can join, offering a great way to exercise and socialize. (Some clubs may be cancelled depending on where you live.) In the UK, check out Go4awalk, while in the US, there is America's Walking Club (AVA), and the international IVV. Or, use Meetup to find an online exercise buddy. When you keep active, you will feel great!

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Get the creative juices flowing

You might be so busy online, you could use some old-fashioned, non-technological alone time! This is the season to start a new hobby or resuscitate an old, forgotten one.

This may be an ideal time to take up creative writing or journaling. Then there’s relaxing crafts such as needlepoint, painting, beading, woodworking, and a host of other creative, calming, and fulfilling activities.

You can even combine your creative hobby with giving; many knitters and crocheters enjoy creating scarves and hats that they then donate to the needy. Once you get those creative juices flowing, you may feel a sense of wellbeing and fulfilment. Some may also find that a bit of solitude may engender a deep, spiritual connection.

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NICOLE NATHAN BEM, CONTRIBUTOR
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.