Five Ways to Handle a Broken Heart During the Holidays

05/12/2014 18:36 GMT | Updated 04/02/2015 10:59 GMT

While I wouldn't say that there is an ideal time of year to have a broken heart, I do think that there is one season in particular when it's especially hard to deal with heartache. The holidays aren't particularly kind to those grieving the end of a relationship and can make dealing with your broken heart seem nearly impossible. While I'm sure you wish you could just hibernate from the world and re-emerge in the New Year, it's just not practical during the holidays when you have parties and family functions to attend. Here are some ways to handle a break-up during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year.

1. Create a Buffer Zone

One of the biggest issues you'll face during the holiday season is how many people you're going to have to deal with. Parties, family dinners, and gift exchanges galore means that you'll likely bump into people you haven't seen in awhile who want to know how your relationship is going and wondering where your boyfriend is. Awkward! Instead of facing it alone, rally the troops! For example, if you'd like to prevent your nosy uncle from barraging you with questions on Christmas Eve, ask your mom or sister if they would tell him in advance that you'd prefer not to talk about it. Don't feel embarrassed to use this buffer technique, it's a lot less embarrassing then having your relationship status being discussed at the dinner table.

2. Look Ahead To the New Year

If December is the worst time of year to deal with heartache, January is one of the best! The New Year is full of optimism, new beginnings and the chance to recreate yourself and your life. Instead of waiting for the first of the year to get excited about your new single life, start now! Make a list of all the things you'd like to do or accomplish in the New Year and get cracking. Chances are you have a lot more free time now that your relationship has ended--step away from the Netflix and use it wisely!

3. Embrace Your People

As anyone who has ever been in a relationship can attest to, being part of a couple during the holidays isn't exactly a walk in the park. It's stressful to have to spend time with two (or more!) sets of family members, friends, and go to multiple office holiday events. This year, it's all about you and the people you love most in the world. This year, you don't have to worry about impressing your boyfriend's parents nor do you have to spend Christmas Eve with anyone except your own family. This year, you can be totally and completely selfish with the most important gift you have to give - your time. Spend extra time with your close family and friends this year, because chances are by time next year's holiday season rolls around you probably will have met someone new, and might have to divide your time up again.

4. Step Away From Social Media

Taking a brief social media hiatus is always one of my favourite break-up tips, but it's especially important to disconnect if you're going through a holiday heartbreak. First of all, it's engagement season and even though I am sure you're oh so very happy for all your friends and acquaintances who get engaged this time of year, it can magnify how alone you feel. Don't let yourself fall into a comparison trap! The best way to make sure that you don't spend hours crying while looking at your Facebook newsfeed full of proposal photos and cute couples kissing under the mistletoe is to limit your time on social media. Pop in every once in a while but don't let yourself fall down the rabbit hole.

5. Spend Time Alone

There is a lot going on this time of year and it might seem like a good idea to throw yourself headfirst into all of the parties and events to distract yourself from the pain you're dealing with. It's great to have fun and surround yourself with people you enjoy, but it's also important not to distract yourself to an extent where you're just avoiding working through your emotions. Make time for yourself daily, whether that means lingering in bed on the weekends or reading a book at a coffee shop with your favourite holiday drink. Chances are, you might feel a bit uncomfortable being alone at first and that's completely understandable! Soon though, you'll begin to realise what amazing company you are and you will even look forward to your dates... with yourself!