For most people, Christmas is a time for family. Whether you’re catching up with your adored, long-lost cousin or deflecting annoying jokes from your twisted uncle, chances are you’ll be diving into a Christmas ham with your fam come December 25.
But if you’re one of those people whose families might not be so close this season, Christmas day can be a lonely affair. For the separated, divorced or widowed, students, the travellers or the ones left at home, this time of year can be more than lonely — it can be heartbreaking.
Luckily, there are plenty of options for the orphans of Christmas to help you feel a little more connected.
1. Do something for others. Do you know anyone else who is spending Christmas without friends or family? Go visit them or have them over for lunch. This is a good way to remember that, while you might be lonely, you’re not alone. Someone has to make the first call, might as well be you.
2. Turn off the tech and reconnect with reality. Step away from the social media people. Logging on during Christmas-time is a sure-fire way to think everyone is happy but you. What is something you like to do but never have time for? A walk? A movie? A good book? Maybe even a day of pampering yourself. Cook yourself a nice meal, take a long luxurious bubble bath, give yourself a facial, paint your toenails…, have a Netflix marathon, eat junk food, do crafts, stay in your PJ’s all day. Whatever it is you enjoy, do it.
3. Pack a bag and take a road trip. Stop anywhere you please. Dine out, there are many restaurants open for the holiday and you just might meet someone else spending the holiday alone too.
4. My personal favorite, online shopping! The store may be closed but the internet never closes! Buy yourself a Christmas present!
5. When someone invites you, say yes. Now there’s a thought! If you struggle with depression or social anxiety, your first response will usually be an excuse. How about trying something different and saying yes.
Most of all, just be kind to yourself. Don’t be a martyr. Use the day as an opportunity to make new traditions and be ok with it. You are worth it!