Planning Ahead for the Holiday Blues? Don’t Miss These 4 Expert Tips for Learning How To Cope With Christmas On Your Own
As the holidays approach each year, do you feel sad, lonely and depressed? Will you be away from your family and loved ones this year? Perhaps you’ve had a death in the family, you’re short on money or life just isn’t the way you imagined.
Whatever your reason may be for feeling down during Christmas, it’s likely that your neighbour is feeling a tinge of that, too. Many people experience some form of sadness during the holidays — but there are steps you can take to combat those feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Read on to get our top four expert tips for coping with Christmas on your own this year:
Tip #1: Make a Holiday Bucket List
Add some fun to your holiday by making a bucket list of all the things you want to accomplish before Christmas is over. These should be activities that you like to do and that can be accomplished with you alone. It may be great to get friends on board with these items, but just make sure they aren’t contingent on them so that you can attend no matter what.
Make your activities simple, free, fun and exciting — things as simple as building a snowman, making Christmas cookies, watching Christmas movies, reading a favorite holiday book on your e-reader, going caroling, changing your desktop background with a holiday scene, seeing a Christmas play, decorating your house or apartment and others. Make your list about you and what makes you happy!
Tip #2: Don’t Isolate
When you are sad and lonely, it’s easy to isolate yourself. But this is not the time to do it. Reach out to the people you enjoy hanging out with or make new friends.
Research shows that when you don’t isolate and you surround yourself with happy things and people you can improve your mood. That’s exactly what you want to do. Force yourself to be around others during the holidays.
Tip #3: Do Something Out of the Ordinary
Add excitement to the holidays by stepping out and doing something you wouldn’t normally do. For example, maybe splurge on a Christmas concert, perform in a Christmas play or go somewhere tropical for the holidays. The point is to do something surprising and exciting that makes you feel rewarded.
Tip #4: Make a Plan for Every Day of the Holiday
Coping with the doldrums of the holidays isn’t easy — but if you have a rough plan for every day of Christmas, you’ll be motivated to follow through. So use your bucket list to make concrete plans for each day. You can make your itineraries as detailed as you would like, including your stops for meals, depending how well you know yourself and your capacity to get lonely and sad without a plan.
A lot of coping is in the planning, so do yourself a favor and have fun with it. You deserve to take part in the joy of the holidays — and even if life isn’t perfect right now, know that you’re not alone and that you can experience happiness and magic in the small moments.
Are You Ready to Have a Great Holiday?
It’s very common to feel down at Christmas — and a large part of the world does experience feelings and bouts of depression, sadness and loneliness during the holidays. So if you’ve experienced this at Christmas, know that you’re not alone.
But also know that there are things you can do to increase your chances of feeling happy during the holidays. Make your plan now and then force yourself to follow it when you begin to feel down. It doesn’t replace not being around the ones you love — or not having your life exactly as you want it — but it will give you some joy and happiness that has a great chance of continuing on with your proactive help.
What has helped you cope with Christmas in the past? Leave your ideas of what worked and didn’t in the comments below. Your ideas can help others as you prepare for the holidays this year.