Spending Christmas alone this year? It can be tough, but you should know you are not alone.
The reality is that many people go through this, whether it’s due to family members no longer being with us, not being able to afford the expensive round-trip tickets, having to work over the holidays, or even simply choosing to be alone during the celebrations.
Regardless, whether it’s a circumstance or personal choice, spending the end-of-year holiday by yourself can be difficult.
It’s easy to feel lonely and unappreciated, and can even bring on feelings of depression when there’s no one around to celebrate with. But the good news is that you don’t have to feel that way.
The truth is, you can be alone at Christmas without being miserable. With the right frame of mind, the holiday season can be an exciting opportunity for self-care and personal growth, setting the stage for a great year ahead.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- Why spending Christmas alone can be difficult
- How to manage your emotions and turn your experience into a positive one
- What to do when things start to feel overwhelming
Why Spending Christmas Alone Can Be Difficult
It’s natural to feel miserable when you can’t celebrate Christmas with family and loved ones.
However, being alone during the holidays sometimes feels more than just being absent; it can feel socially isolating and make you question your self-worth.
You may have thoughts such as, “Why can’t I find someone to spend Christmas with?” or, “Why am I alone—does nobody love me?”
It’s normal to have these questions, but it’s also important to have the right perspective.
The fact is, there’s a lot of external pressure to be with other people. The Christmas ideal is portrayed as being with family members and loved ones around a Christmas tree or a heavy-set dinner table.
But what society considers ideal is not necessarily the right fit for everyone, nor is it the only right answer. The truth is, there are plenty of ways to have a meaningful Christmas without other people.
Remember that being alone at Christmas is not a reflection of your self-worth, it’s simply a situation you happen to be in. You have the power to make your solo Christmas celebration a happy and meaningful one.
In fact, with the right mindset, personal time during the holidays can be a great opportunity to focus completely on yourself, without the distractions of work or the company of other people.
How To Manage Your Emotions and Turn Your Experience Into a Positive One
Just because you’re spending Christmas alone doesn’t mean you need to write it off as a lonely and depressing day.
Instead, here are some ways to make your solo Christmas celebration work for you:
Step 1: Set positive affirmations and change your beliefs
Don’t allow society to dictate how you feel. Instead, recognize that being alone on Christmas isn’t a failure or a measure of how much you’re loved or valued—it’s simply a situation you happen to be in.
Adopt a positive mental attitude. Tell yourself, “I’m thankful for all the good in my life, and excited about this opportunity to have some time to myself.” Repeat this mantra over and over.
You want to replace society’s expectation of you with your own expectations—after all, it’s much easier to be happy when you’re living life on your own terms rather than other people’s.
Step 2: Plan your day
You may be tempted to ignore the fact that you’re spending Christmas alone and figure out what to do on the day itself. But when you do that, it’s easy to waste the day and feel regretful, wishing you would’ve done something else instead.
That’s not to say you can’t spend the day binge-watching television—you just don’t want to do it unintentionally.
Whatever you choose to do, be clear about when and why you’re doing it; you’ll feel better and more in control when you plan your day and are intentional about it.
Step 3: Indulge in self-care
Self-care is vital to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, especially when you’re alone during the holidays. Focusing on yourself is a great reminder that your needs are important and that you matter.
Meditate, read a book, draw a relaxing bath, exercise, or eat a healthy meal. Whatever you choose to do, give yourself a chance to relax and focus on being present.
This is supported by a study by the University of California Merced, which showed that leisure activities lower your stress levels, improve mood, lower heart rate, and reduce boredom, which helps regulate your emotions and gives you something positive to focus on.
If you’re still struggling with negative emotions despite indulging in self-care, try listening to this ‘I Am Enough’ guided meditation.
Step 4: Work on yourself
Rather than wait to work on your New Year’s resolution, why not get a head start? List down your goals for next year and start on a self-improvement project.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to personal growth; you can work on pursuing a career change, listen to the best self-help podcasts, or even clear the money blocks that have been stopping you from achieving your financial goals.
Step 5: Make it not about you
Feelings of loneliness and social isolation are caused by a lack of connection, so what better way to overcome this than to connect with others?
Volunteer at a soup kitchen or night shelter, but make sure to call ahead first to check if they’re accepting volunteers with current COVID regulations. Or, if you want to maintain social distancing, there’s plenty of virtual volunteering opportunities available too:
- Be My Eyes is a free app that connects the visually impaired with sighted volunteers for help with everyday tasks.
- Lifetime Connections Without Walls allows older adults to connect with others for social and educational sessions, support groups, and friendly conversation.
- Tarjimly is an app that connects refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers with multilingual volunteers via video chat.
Step 6: Reach out to friends and loved ones
Just because your family and loved ones aren’t with you in person, it doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them this Christmas.
Out of sight does not mean out of mind—you can still celebrate the holidays with them virtually.
Host an online Christmas on Zoom, video call your loved ones to personally wish them a Merry Christmas, or write personalized letters to those you love telling them how you feel.
The key is to reaffirm your relationships and how much they mean to you.
Reaching out to your loved ones can help alleviate feelings of loneliness. And if you’re struggling with your emotions during the holidays, be honest with them about how you feel; it’s important to get the emotional support you need while you’re in this difficult period.
What To Do When Things Start To Feel Overwhelming
Sometimes, alone time during the holidays is tough, no matter what you do to fill your time. If you feel overwhelmed when you’re by yourself this Christmas, know there is help available to you.
It may be beneficial for you to start talking with a professional who understands how the human mind works and can guide you through this difficult period.
Rapid Transformational Therapy® (RTT®) is a new approach to therapy, designed to reprogram the subconscious mind using the most powerful elements of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming, cognitive behavioral therapy, and neuroscience.
This can help you to identify the deeper issues that are causing you to feel depressed from being alone on Christmas—for instance, unresolved feelings of abandonment or rejection, which can be difficult to address on your own.
RTT® does this by tapping into your subconscious mind and identifying the root cause of your negative emotions. It can then reprogram dysfunctional habits and learned responses which you weren’t even aware of, giving you more control over your thoughts and emotions.
If you’d like to resolve feelings of depression and loneliness, and learn to be more present and at peace during this Christmas celebration, give RTT® a try.
Spending Christmas alone doesn’t have to be depressing—there are plenty of ways to enjoy a meaningful celebration, even without company. The key is to harness the power of your mind and develop positive thinking patterns using the steps above.
If things get overwhelming, you can be reassured that there is help out there waiting for you. An RTT® therapist will help you unpack any internalized issues, allowing you to break negative thought patterns and be at peace with yourself, regardless of whether you’re alone or with company this Christmas.