12/23/2014 10:47 am ET Updated Feb 22, 2015

How to Enjoy the Holidays If You're Alone

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For many of us, the holidays are a time for parties, presents, traditions, and spending time with family and friends. However, this isn't the case for everyone. Whether by choice or because of work demands, financial issues, or other personal reasons, some people will be alone for the holidays. Regardless of the circumstances, here are four ways you can make your holiday alone a special one.

1. Appreciate what you have.

It's common to hear people complain about their hectic holiday schedules, the annoying relatives they must visit out of obligation, and the stressful expectations the holidays bring. Solitude is rare for many of us and when we're lucky enough to get a little time to ourselves, we cherish it. There are some people who would love to be in your position. So try to reframe your perspective -- you may realize that being alone isn't so bad.

2. Tackle a new project.

Whether you decide to paint your room a new color, catch up on your to-do list, or write the first chapter of your novel, it will feel good to set a goal and try to reach it over the holidays. It can even be something as simple as learning a new recipe or cooking yourself a delicious dinner. Whatever the task, enjoy your sense of accomplishment.

3. Pamper yourself.

Treat yourself to a relaxing experience. Take a long, luxurious bubble bath. Listen to your favorite music. Pamper yourself with a new manicure, pedicure, or facial. Take this time to create a peaceful atmosphere to recharge your batteries.

4. Volunteer.

'Tis the season for giving and it has been scientifically proven that helping others makes us feel good. In fact, nothing is more rewarding than helping others in need. Doing so will also make you feel grateful for all that you do have.

All the hype around the holiday season could lead you to believe that you have to be surrounded by friends and family to have a good time, but being alone doesn't have to mean being lonely. It's all about your mindset. Stay positive, and remember that a holiday is just a day -- and you can choose to spend it making yourself happy.