Holidays can be hard on the newly single, whether that means Valentine's Day, Easter, Passover or even St. Patrick's Day. One reason we can feel so low is that routines formerly involving a spouse—such as a holiday—can trigger what researchers call “episodic loneliness,” that chafing feeling of finding yourself alone in a situation that formerly involved someone else.
The season of spring can pack an extra emotional punch with all the signs of rebirth and joy. But there's one clear upside to vernal holiday fatigue that we can all enjoy: The day after.
Easter may signify renewal, but the day after, retailers bring on the sales. Those colorful chocolate eggs, fanciful bunnies, and gift baskets filled with candy and stuffed animals are still fresh, and priced to sell. The day after a holiday is a chance to pamper yourself. We say, go big! Rush out and show yourself some love.
We proudly proclaim any day following a holiday as National Discount Self-Indulgence Day. Buy yourself what you know you love: candy, stuffed animals, jewelry, perfume, moisturizer, stationary, clothing—all at 50- to 70-percent off the retail price. This spring, you can even stock up on arts & crafts supplies, pastel-colored paper, Easter egg baskets, and other items can use throughout the year, or this time next year.
Celebrating Discount Self-Indulgence Day is an example of one of Splitopia's Seven Principles of Parting: Create Positive Moments. Don’t duck from the holidays; embrace them.
So what should you do on the day before Discount Self-Indulgence Day? Here are some suggestions.
Share the love this time of year.
1. Host a dinner for your friends.
Giving time, not objects, is one of the best ways to show your gratitude for the love and support another person brings to your life. Make plans for an outing with another solo parent or a long-time friend. Choose an activity that lifts up someone else. Giving back has been shown to increase happiness more than a fleeting pleasure like going to the movies. As with any kind of volunteering, babysitting for another family reminds you of how much you have to give.
We often associate upcoming holidays like Passover and Easter with family meals steeped in years-long tradition. Why not apply that same type of ritual with friends? Read Wendy Paris's article on hosting a Passover Seder–for 13 people, most of whom were strangers–the month after her husband moved out. After all, to feed someone is one of the most intimate experiences you can offer. And check out her post about how to relish the winter holidays, even during divorce.
2. Remember those in need (of sugar).
Dessert is not the prerogative of the happily married. If you're one of those people who loves to decorate cookies, go ahead and have a cookie-decorating party with friends. Go all out on sprinkles and cookie cutters. If you have your children, cookie and egg decorating can be a great activity to do with them. Bring your treats and painted eggs to other solos in your life, or anyone in need of bunny-shaped sweets, and make a day of visiting people.
3. Enlist your children.
Include your children in Easter and Passover as way to demonstrate the value of thinking of others. Make a plant project for a teacher. Stop by a local women’s shelter to donate toys or clothes. Invite your kids to help you make a big meal for their grandparents.
This is also a great time to use your creativity. If you've made a practice of giving an Easter basket to your kids, but this year are really feeling the lack of your spouse during this tradition, upgrade it to something more creative and collaborative. Get out the glue and glitter and make decorating the basket an art project you do together. One way to fill an emotional void is to add something new. There are plenty of projects to do with children that don't break the bank.
Sometimes not spending money can feel like a holiday. Check out this post about going on a Spending Fast.
4. Don't forget your ex.
This may sound shocking, at least at this moment, but just because you're no longer together doesn't mean you don't still care. Check out this post on what to get for an ex.
Mariella Rudi is a multimedia journalist in her hometown of Los Angeles. Serving as editorial assistant at Splitopia.com, Mariella also manages Splitopia's social media and branding strategies. She has a nose for community news and the entertainment industry. She has worked as an editor at WestsideToday.com, Brentwood News, and Century City News. She graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in journalism in 2015 and, like so many of her millennial peers, is skilled in the art of the side-hustle. Much of her work can be found at mariellarudi.contently.com.