Ways to Cope with Loneliness at Christmas
Are you going to be alone on Christmas this year? This year, in particular, many people may be feeling alone or lonely.
Most people seem happy and joyful during the holiday season, and this can magnify any feelings that you have of being alone.
To help you cope if you’re alone on Christmas or another day during the holiday season, I’ve put together a list of suggestions.
Some of these are designed to help you boost your mood and feel less lonely. Others are aimed at getting you in the company of others.
And, some are about planning ahead for a better Christmas next year.
I know you’re feeling lonely, but take some time to think about all the good things you do have in your life.
Do you have a roof over your head?
Food to eat?
Perhaps a TV to watch or the Internet to surf?
Social anxiety oftentimes can bring on feelings of depression, which zap you of any ability to see the good in what you already have.
Some good ways to be more grateful on this day are to fill out a gratitude worksheet or just jot down three things you are thankful for in a notebook.
Deal with Negative Thoughts
It’s one thing to feel lonely—it’s quite another to feel bad about the fact you are alone.
Do you feel shame or like you “should” be spending the holiday with friends or family? Let go of those expectations of the day. It’s just another day after all.
If you’re really struggling with negative thoughts that you can’t let go of, do a little thought challenging exercise.
Free Training: "Conversation Advice for Overthinkers"
Check out this free training offered by the experts at Social Pro Now!
- How to use "Conversational Threading" to avoid awkward silence
- The proven way to get past boring small talk
- Instantly beat self-consciousness with the "OFC-method"
- Busting the myth that you have to get a "more interesting life" to be more interesting"
Write down the feeling that you are having and what you think caused the feeling. Then, imagine that your thoughts had a voice, and write down three things you think they would say right now.
Next, for each of those thoughts, see if you can find any thought distortions (e.g., black and white thinking, catastrophizing).
If you need help doing this, I have some CBT worksheets in my social anxiety resource library that will help (you can access them by signing up to the resource library at the link below).
Move Your Body
Sometimes the solution to feeling down and lonely is not lying on the couch and drowning your sorrows in a tub of ice cream.
Instead, it’s getting outside, going for a walk, getting some exercise, or just dancing around at home. Put on some of your favorite songs (Christmas-y or otherwise) and just start to move.
You can even make this a productive venture by doing some cleaning while you listen to the music.
Exercise helps you to release endorphins, which can help snap you out of a funk and cope better with negative feelings.
Attend a Service
It might not seem that way, but you’re certainly not the only one who is alone or feeling lonely on Christmas.
If you want to spend the holiday with someone, keep your eyes and ears open to find others who are in the same predicament.
Then consider asking them to plan an “orphan Christmas” with you where you celebrate with others who are feeling lonely.
I remember one Christmas my parents invited our neighbor who was alone to join us for dinner.
That’s the benefit of the holiday season—it’s an easy time to come together and celebrate a sense of community even with people you don’t know well.
If you’re limited in your ability to gather with others in person, consider doing the same meet-up but over Zoom or another digital platform.
Do Meaningful Work
If you have a job that allows you to work on Christmas, this could be a good way to take your mind off the fact that you are alone.
If it’s also a somewhat social job, all the better.
On the other hand, if working on Christmas doesn’t work for whatever reason, consider doing meaningful work around your house.
This could mean redecorating a room, creating a nice meal for yourself. Completing a project. Or anything else that engages your mind and carries you away from “thinking” into a space of “doing.”
Being creative is also a good antidote to the consumerism that surrounds the holidays. So if you want to escape the whole shopping scene, this is a good choice.
It’s a digital world, and chances are good even if you don’t have in-person friends or relatives to spend the holidays with, you probably know some people online or could connect virtually with at least one person you know.
This isn’t a good substitute year-round, but it’s not a bad option if you’re stuck this one day of the year feeling alone.
This is also a good option because it’s low on the stress-meter. You can check in with people as you please, stay in your pajamas if you want, and eat whatever meal suits you.
Sometimes it’s just all about taking care of yourself when you’re feeling down or alone.
Turn off your phone, find a good book, eat your favorite foods, watch funny movies, and just stay in for the day.
Also, get clear on the fact that you are taking a day to “recharge” rather than push yourself forward. This isn’t an everyday thing, but it’s good once in a while to take a step back.
Sign Up for Therapy
If you are truly struggling and it’s affecting your ability to get through the day, consider signing up for an
Through a service like this, you can chat with a licensed counselor about the issues you are facing.
Taking this step isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, it shows that you have the courage to take action.
If you are truly struggling with low mood, be sure to reach out to someone like a friend, family member, or crisis line.
Whether you feel lonely or not, you are never lacking support when you need it. It’s always available to you and you don’t need to feel alone.
Related Articles about the Holidays
- 54 Things to Do Instead of Giving Up
- How to Deal with Being Alone on New Year’s Eve
- 10 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress
WANT TO REMEMBER THIS? SAVE HOW TO DEAL WITH BEING ALONE AT CHRISTMAS TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
How to Deal with Being Alone on Christmas
Here are some of my favorite social anxiety tools
Thanks for reading! I hope you found some helpful tips. Since this site is about social anxiety, I wanted to also share some tools I use that I hope you’ll find helpful. Some of these are affiliate links, so if you decide to try them, I’ll earn a commission. However, I only recommend things I have used myself and would recommend to a friend or family member.
Online Therapy: For online therapy, I have personally used and like the service offered by Betterhelp. It's easy to get started from the comfort of your home. You'll even get a discount on your first month of therapy when you use my link.
Doctor Visits: For doctor visits, Web Doctors offers convenient online appointments.
Audible Subscription: I recommend a lot of self-help books on this site, but I actually prefer an audiobook subscription over print books! My favorite subscription service is Audible because it has all the best-sellers and they stay in your digital library forever (even if you end your subscription). You can sign up for a free trial and listen to your first two books for free.
Social Anxiety Masterclass: The Social Anxiety Masterclass is my signature course where I walk you through everything I know about how to manage social anxiety. If you're not ready to enroll in the course, be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter to hear about special deals!