Craving company during the holidays? 7 ways to be merry with others

It's the most social time of the year and you're home with your houseplant.  Are you away from family and friends, maybe in a new city? Are you feeling lonely, bored, or antsy?  Do you gain most of your your energy from time with people? Here are seven quick tips when you need the company of others during the holidays. 

1. Scan Meetup groups, Facebook events, or your local newspaper. In the social media era, there are always so many cool things going on and they're easier and easier to find!  Don't be afraid to go alone - you'll surely meet some kindred spirits to conspire with!

2. Volunteer. Soup kitchens.  Homeless shelters. Old folks homes.  There's no better cure for solo ennui than striking up a conversation with someone who could really use the company.  Be present and compassionate for others and feel your spirits lift!

3. House sit for someone with a dog, and head to a dog park.  Meet other friendly dog people and enjoy the romping excited energy of happy pups!  Or just volunteer to take a busy friend's dog out for the afternoon.

4. Create your own random kindness activity.  Hand out candy canes or flowers.  Write sweet notes and pass them out.  Bake cookies and set up a "free cookie table" at a nearby park.  Be creative. Maybe someone will video you, it will go viral and you'll end up with a spot on the Today Show! :)

5. Go to a class.  Fitness.  Yoga.  Pottery painting.  Cooking.  There are so many fun ways to hang out with others and learn something too.

6. Make your own party, large or small.  Invite new friends to a cookie baking party.  Or a wine tasting, or holiday card writing.  Or Netflix watching. Or something else you love but would love to do with someone else.  Ask one or two people to join you for breakfast, lunch, coffee, a walk, or your other favorite thing.  It's really common for people to assume that everyone else is busy during the holidays, but it's not true!  Ask and you'll be surprised who's also looking for company!

7. Just open up and smile.  Strike up conversations with strangers.  It's amazing how people want to share but don't always perceive the invitation.  Be a good listener.  When you find someone whose personality resonates with yours, stick around.

If you're new to town or just finding yourself on your own it's easy to believe that everyone else is already set with a scintillating social life and no room for you.  But the truth is there are plenty of other people out there looking for something fun and happy to do with someone kind and pleasant - you!

And if some of your invitations and welcoming overtures are turned down, that's ok!  Don't let one"No, I can't make it this weekend" mean anything except that person is busy, tired, or maybe trying to get some down time - see link below!