6 Tips to survive a New Year's alone as a single mom

Dec 30, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. ET
Image: Lilly Roadstones/Getty

Let's be honest: There are some holidays during the year that pretty much bite if you are a single mom. Especially if you are a single mom who does not date for various reasons. Especially if your kids are with their dad and you don't have them to distract and celebrate with you. Especially if your kids are your everything and you feel a little lost anytime they are gone. One of these holidays is Valentine's Day, for obvious reasons. The other is New Year's Eve.

In the three years since my divorce, I have had my children for one New Year's Eve. It was amazing! I loved it. But the other two have been hard on me. This year, alone again as most of my friends are out of town with their own families this year, I am determined to get through the long days and short nights feeling as awesome about my life as I do when my kids are here. I know I can do it... I just need a plan.

1. Go work out

Currently addicted to CrossFit, I know I can work out every day this week. Whatever you do, even if it is a walk around the block, getting up and getting out, even if it is cold and snowing and seemingly impossible, can elevate your mood dramatically. This is a great time to take up a new routine and to prioritize yourself for a more positive new year. Plus, you will sleep better, and it passes the time in a productive way.

2. Call old friends

There are so many people I have lost touch with over the years. I tend to hang around my friends in my neighborhood that have kids too as my social circle. But I have amazing friends who are also single that I don't see very often that would be up for lunch or dinner or even shopping. So I have picked up the phone and talked to them all and have made plans for almost every day. Just getting out and seeing old faces that have been neglected has been a great boost to my emotional state.

3. Organize the kids' rooms

We say we will do it every week, and we get busy. We have kids to raise, after all. But taking an afternoon to organize that room your kids love so much can be a great boost to your confidence this time of year. It is amazing what you can find, and you will know that your little ones will be coming home to a clean, organized room you lovingly did for them.

4. Get your nails done

I take my girls to get their nails done all the time. I almost never get mine done. First of all, I don't always have the extra money, and if I do, I spend it on them. Second of all, sitting for an hour and getting my nails done is at war with my internal conversation of not being selfish. So making it a point to take a little money to spend on myself and letting someone else take care of me for once can be a great way to pass the time in a positive way.

5. Do something you love

I almost always concede what I love to my children. If I want to sit and watch TV, we watch what they love. If I want to cook in the kitchen, I make what they love. It is what we do as moms. So this week, while I am only responsible for me and my dogs, I am going to do some things I love. Like eating cookies on the couch — gah! — while taking in every episode of Law & Order that has aired since my kids were born.

6. Don't drink too much

As much as I would love to drown my loneliness in mimosas every night, it is just not wise. Alcohol is a depressant, and drinking a lot of it can really make your mind wander into negative spaces. Especially if you are struggling with issues like dating, money or the stress of dealing with your ex. Have a drink here and there, but try not to overdo it. For your own sake!

I hope everyone has an amazing New Year's Eve, whether spending it alone with a Law & Order marathon like I am, or with friends that love them. But if you are a single mom, take time for yourself, and make time for celebrating all you do every other day throughout the year!