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Recently, I found myself alone. A relationship that had begun with such hope suddenly ended and I've been forced to re-jigger my life to suit my new circumstances.  Having embraced my new-found single lifestyle - after much ice cream and consolation - I've discovered that I am independent, strong and (mostly) responsible.  But while I know that I am a powerful, confident warrior who can ably fend for herself, there are three things about the single life that strike fear into my lonesome heart: ready meals for one, lack of cuddles and ………the holiday season.

While the first two are easily fixable (ready meal for two and cat cuddles), it is the latter that proves the most problematic.  Instead of shunning the tinsel and hiding beneath a Scrooge-like demeanor, I've decided that I'm going to immerse myself in the holiday festivities, and if you're single over Christmas then you should do the same.

So here are my top tips for surviving the holidays while single.

While others are busy showering their significant others with gifts, us singletons are often left empty handed.  So there's no better time to treat yourself than at Christmas, right?  If, like me, you rarely splurge but often have your eye on something, being single during the holidays is prime time for doting upon yourself.  My most recent gift to myself was a sparkly and sassy Christmas dress - so why not jump aboard the bandwagon and treat yourself to something you've been hankering after for a while?  And remember, it's Christmas, so no expense should be spared.

At Christmas, we often feel the need to be partnered up.  If not for our sake, then for the sake of our ever-curious family members.  But you needn't feel like you HAVE to be in a relationship over the holidays. Sure, the stores are filled with couples holding hands, but know this - there is always someone waiting under the mistletoe.  Christmas parties, gatherings, nights out - the holiday season is like honey to a bee for singles.  If you know where to look and if you're lucky you might just find your own Santa, baby.

Picture the scene: you're sitting at the dinner table and forcing a smile while being barraged by your in-laws.  You turn to your partner who forces an apologetic smile.  How many of us have been in this very situation?  Well, once you embrace the single life, you don't have to entertain aggressive in-laws any longer.  You can manage your time and who you see over the holidays as you see fit.  Think of singledom as a blessing - you get to rock your style and your voice the way that you want to.  Do YOU lady!

It's easy to become seduced by the cold nights, comfort food and cozy blankets during the holiday season - and I should know.  But while you might be single, you still need to be ready to mingle.  Time by ourselves is integral to our well-being, but so is getting out and doing things.  Make sure that you make plans: see friends, have dinner with your family.  Do things that will lure you away from your cozy nest and challenge yourself a little bit.  As the saying goes, you reap what you sow - the more time you spend filling your life with positive experiences, the more those experiences will help support you as you get back out there on the scene.

Whether you've been single for a while or are fresh out of a relationship, the holiday season is always a difficult thing to maneuver.  Self-love and staying body-positive can be difficult to do when alone, but it is so important to craft a wholesome soul for yourself.   Do the things that you love, take the time that you need to cultivate a positive sense of self, enjoy the holidays - Christmas is generally seen as a time of joy and goodwill, so why not join the festive frolics and make some memories.

Happy Holidays!

XO Fran


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