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Mind & Mood

Holiday for one?

December 1, 2017

Get through the season on your own by changing your perspective, creating new traditions, and reaching out to others.

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The holidays are traditionally a time for family and friends. But plenty of people find themselves alone at this time of the year, especially older adults who live by themselves, are unable to drive, or live far from grown children. "I think it's probably hardest for people who have recently lost a loved one," says Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Emotional impact

A number of emotions may creep in when you face holidays alone. One is pressure to make the holiday an event. "There's a feeling that it's supposed to be a celebration. That may be stressful if you have no one to celebrate with," says Dr. Elyse Park, director of behavioral health research at the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.

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