How to get through Christmas and enjoy it, if spending it alone
It's a fact that around eight million people in the UK, or one in six, will spend Christmas alone this year.
Of this number, a high 83 per cent do not plan to have a Christmas dinner, research has revealed.
But although the thought of spending Christmas alone is often filled with negative connotations, it doesn’t have to be a day to dread.
Relationship therapist Vanessa Cochrane at Brandrated has the following advice for those who expect to be alone for Christmas this year;
Don’t treat it as a normal day
If you are spending Christmas day alone, it can be tempting to ignore celebrations to pursue normality. Often, this has a reverse effect as the more you attempt to ignore the celebrations of others, the more they showcase themselves.
As a nation, the UK is time poor and rarely gets to spend a day doing exactly what we want to do for 24 hours.
Appoint the 25th as the ultimate self-care day where you eat your favourite foods, take an indulgent bath, watch your favourite films, and complete the jobs that you have been putting off, says Vanessa.
Have a structure around the day to ensure that you are not absent-mindedly looking for something to do.
Lack of structure can lead us to become unmotivated and downcast. Segment the day with as much detail as possible, ensuring you are occupied.
New places, new faces.
The fear of spending Christmas alone often stems from the idea of staying inside the whole day.
Go out to your favourite place or a place that you have no attachment to and never visited before.
Studies have shown that when we travel to new places, we become more creative and accepting of our thoughts. It also works to reward yourself with an experience rather than something that’s materialistic.’
Moderate social media
Staying away from social media for the day can be an impossible feat. Instead, moderate your use throughout the day.
When you do use social media, ensure that there is reasoning for each use. For instance, communicating with people that you know, filling a spare five minutes, or posting yourself.
Always remember that people will only post the highlights of their day and it’s not ‘real life’.
December 25 marks the year end. It’s a great time to set intentions and goals by making a list.
A tangible list quantifies the new goals and sparks an initial sense of accomplishment. It also recognises what you are dissatisfied with and what needs improvement.
We all have personal errands that we ‘put off’ for another day. Make the 25th the day that you execute all of them. This will work to diminish any negativity.
Volunteering over the Christmas period is a great way to not spend it alone, meet new people, help those in need and even pursue a new activity for the rest of the year.
To you, from you.
If you have no gifts to open on Christmas day, it doesn’t mean that you can't treat yourself. Whether it's something that you have always been after or an item that contributes to your self-care routine, ensure that you have a gift to yourself.
The biggest factor to remember when spending Christmas alone is to remember that one day doesn’t represent your life.
You may be alone for Christmas, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you are alone in life.
Help is at hand for anyone who needs it at Christmas or any other time: