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how to avoid Christmas depression

Alone For Christmas? 7 Ways to Have Fun By Yourself

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Ah, it’s holiday time. Yippee yahoo. For many, it’s fun and family and feasts. And then there’s the rest of us who are alone for Christmas. Some don’t mind it, some find it very difficult.

My first Christmas alone was 2015. I had just moved to Guatemala and really had no friends. I definitely had no family here. I wasn’t sure I could handle it because I love Christmas as much as a 5 year old.

But I managed to learn how to deal with loneliness during the holidays and now 5 years later it doesn’t really bother me anymore.

I get there are some who just lost loved ones. My heart goes out to all of you during this time. I can’t even pretend to know the grief you must go through. No matter what the situation or the reasons, there are still some of us who have no family or friends at Christmas.

via GIPHY

Being alone for Christmas used to suck a lot

Some manage ok, others struggle. The first two years or so was really hard for me. One year I went back to Canada to be with family, but the other 4 I have been alone for the holidays.

I think the first year I probably cried an awful lot. And that’s totally ok to do that but please don’t stay sad the whole day. That’s no fun and you CAN have fun on Christmas day alone.

This year I am without family again, but 5 years in Guatemala and I now have some fantastic friends who I can call family. I’m blessed. I’m still alone on Christmas morning, which has always been the most exciting day for me ever as a mom.

Now I just wake up and kinda pretend it’s just another day. I think being without family and friends and being in a different country really gives you a whole new perspective on this holiday.

So how do you deal with loneliness during Christmas (and other holidays for that matter)?

Here are my 7 super fun tips. I hope you try at least 2 or 3 and at some point during the day, you can smile, laugh and have fun!

(this post contains affiliate links so if you make a purchase I may make a small commission-affiliate disclosure here)

alone at christmas dog under a tree

What can you do on Christmas Day without family?

Well, I’m gonna share at least 7 things with you, and all super awesome things too but if you have any other ideas please feel free to share them in the comments section below!

We all have different ways that resonate with us to spend Christmas alone with no family or friends. Some people actually just like to sit alone all day and be by themselves and that’s cool too as long as you aren’t spending the whole day feeling lonely or too sad.

Please don’t do that.

7 ways to get through Christmas alone

These are just a few of the things that you can do but maybe you can think of others that resonate with you more? Whatever the case may be, please don’t spend another holiday feeling lonely, sad or depressed.

Volunteer

My favourite thing in the whole wide world to do!!!

There are so many organizations and/or shelters that always need an extra pair of helping hands. Call one up and go help. You will not find more love and happy cheery faces than in a place like a shelter where they are all so happy to see volunteers.

Trust me, you will feel loved! If you’re not so much into being with people, I’m sure the animal shelter regular staff/volunteers wouldn’t mind a break during the holidays.

You can even just walk up and down your main downtown area and find homeless people there who might want some company. Go grab a couple of coffees or hot chocolates and sit with one.

Now I get that this year (covid year…ugh) has stopped many of us in our tracks, but I think you can still safely volunteer. Call your fave place and find out what the protocol is.

Have a “me” day!

Now this may sound sort of backwards. I mean, we don’t want to be alone for Christmas, right? But hear me out on this one. Being alone and actually having a “me day” are two different things.

Take the day to honour yourself.

Buy yourself a present, fill your stocking if you want. Stay in your pj’s all day. Watch Netflix all damn day. I mean, if you’re gonna be alone at least have some fun!

Put on your favourite Christmas songs and sing at the top of your lungs. Don’t like Christmas songs? Fine then! Sing whatever you want but just have some fun!!

via GIPHY

It’s just another day

Ok, it’s not, I get that. It’s a pretty darn special day actually. But we’re alone and everyone around us is celebrating and we’re not. It sucks, I so get that.

My first Christmas alone, instead of moping around and feeling sorry for myself, I carried on my day like it was any other day. I slept in, had breakfast, worked, played music, went for a walk into town.

I hooked up with another Canadian expat and we went swimming in the lake. Just another day.

Yup, to me, and in my mind, it was just another day. It lessened the risk of Christmas depression for me and helped me not feel sorry for myself.

If you do run the risk of depression at Christmas time, the amazing people at online-therapy.com can help. Click the link here or the image below to speak to someone today.

Depression is no joke and you don’t have to suffer alone with this.

online therapy pic-how to be happy in life

Go on a road trip

If you can and are able, get in the car and get outta town. Go on a road trip, go to another little town in your area, perhaps one you haven’t been to in a long time.

Or go to a quiet serene area, have a picnic and cry your eyes if you have to. Just leave town. You don’t have to leave the country. Even a short road trip is very therapeutic.

You might like this interesting article about one road trip me and my friend Dave took on Christmas eve.

3 Life Lessons I Learned From a Terrifying Road Trip

woman alone for Christmas on a car

Visit a nursing home

(sorry if you can’t do this due to covid)

Do you know that there are many seniors in nursing homes who sit alone and actually have family but no one visits them? They only see staff day in and day out and they see their neighbours have visitors all the time.

Also many of those cute old folks don’t have any family or friends at all. How can that not hurt your heart even a little??

Go check in with your local nursing home and see who hasn’t had any visitors in forever. You may even get to hear some really super cool stories from the early 20’s. Oh!!

Bring some treats (maybe even slip a bottle of Brandy or wine in!..HA!) and go make someone feel super special on this day. And trust me, you’ll feel incredibly happy too!

Go on a date

Take yourself out on a date! I mean, why not? Lots of places are still open. Movie theatres, restaurants, hell I think even some malls are open!

Put on your favourite Christmas outfit, grab your credit card and go.

You never know who you’re going to meet while you’re out dining or shopping alone. You’re actually not alone. There are lots of us out there who have no family or friends at Christmas too so you just may make some new friends!

Woot!!

woman eating alone for Christmas dinner

Call up an old friend

You know you’re not totally alone for Christmas. You already know a few other friends, who maybe don’t live in the same town as you anymore, who are also alone for the holidays.

Call ’em up! And isn’t technology wonderful these days? Zoom, Facebook video call, Google Duo, I mean come on. The possibilities are endlesssssss!

Text your friend and give them a head’s up that you are calling or set a time to get together on a video call. Why not gather up a few more friends and have a group call? Like come on!!

This sounds like so much fun, amirite?

Being alone for Christmas doesn’t have to be horrible!

Now I get that this can be an especially sad day for some people but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of feeling dread and anxiety over the upcoming holiday you can switch your mentality from “ugh another sad Christmas alone” to “ok I’m going to make the best of this day!”.

You have to remember that we are in control of our thoughts and our thoughts create our day and our life. If you want to be sad and feel negative all day your thoughts will determine that.

But you don’t have to and why on earth would you want to anyway? Embrace another day above ground. Enjoy the fact that you are alive and way more blessed than others.

You can fight off feeling lonely at Christmas and have a fun day or you can wallow in pity. The choice is yours.

Please don’t forget to reach out to talk to someone if you have a hard time dealing with being alone at Christmas. Here’s the link again to the amazing people over at online-therapy.com. 

Find others who are spending Christmas alone

Honestly, there are so many other lonely people in the world who wish they had company, just like you. Many cities also have dinners for people who are single, or have no family or friends at Christmas at their local churches and halls and such. Go check one out.

The possibilities are endless! Imagine the friendships that can be formed.

Not only that, you may want to start volunteering or helping others on a more regular basis. It could actually lead you to your life’s purpose! Who knows? Open your mind, open your heart, allow in opportunities.

“Do you hear what I heeeeeeeeeeeear?”

Cheers to us!!

Peace and Love

Iva

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4 Responses

  1. Sometimes it might be stressful when alone especially during holidays, but you have given some great ideas about volunteering and getting some ‘Me’ time. Road trip sounds fun

    1. Hey Trupti thanx for your input and glad you enjoyed the blog. There is always a way to not be alone on Christmas and have fun too!! Merry Christmas to you and yours xo

      much love
      xo iva xo

  2. The saddest part is having family far away and others not caring about being with you. I have a wonderful husband and 2 adorable dogs who LOVE ME so we spend our holidays together:)
    But it still hurts… i have so much love to give so i give to friends and strangers..
    I pray for Gods peace in my heart:)
    Happy holidays and Merry Christ-mas to all❤💚

    1. Living in Mexico really far away from my family I totally get this. Give and receive love from the people around you who care and want it. Merry Christmas to you and yours xoxo

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ABOUT ME

Iva Ursano is a retired hairstylist turned badass freelancer, who left behind 52 years of her life in Northern Ontario, Canada for a life of freedom, love and beauty in sunny Guatemala. She has two main purposes in life: feed hungry bellies and help inspire people to live a life of joy and love.

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