How to get through the festive season better when you are alone
The holiday season can be experienced differently depending on our age, our time of life and our surroundings. It can be a more difficult time than we imagine for many of us. 80% of French people make it a major concern at the end of the year, and one in 8 French people will spend Christmas alone.
The first thing to do, in my opinion, if you dread this period, is to reflect on the following question: \“why am I alone and can I do something about it? \”
1. Why am I alone?
I am alone because…
- I don’t have / have no more family, or my family is far away
- I’m not on good terms with my family / I’m angry with my family
- I’m grieving and find it hard to celebrate
- I’m ill, in hospital, in a nursing home…
- I’m ashamed that I can’t participate in the festivities because of lack of means
- I’m still waiting for an invitation…
- Or again, I am against the commercial aspect of this period.
There are certainly as many reasons as there are individuals! Yet, if you take a step back, in some cases, you may find that this loneliness is the result of a choice on your part. If you feel you have no choice, ask someone who can show you some possible options. It can be hard to see them when our ego makes us believe that we don’t deserve to have a happy holiday season, or we don’t dare to act to change the situation.
Here are some examples…
Don’t have a family, they are far away or you are angry?
Dare to tell others that you are celebrating Christmas alone, you may be surprised to find out that you are probably not alone in this situation. Take the lead: organise a nice meal with your colleagues, friends and acquaintances. You’ll be surprised to find that the \“magic of Christmas\” still works and that it is not uncommon to be invited to a friend’s table for a warm family evening.
Have you lost a loved one and you think you have no right to be merry?
Do you really think this is what that person would have wanted for you? I think they would be happy to know that you are having fun and enjoying life while you can!
Are you having financial problems and feeling guilty about it?
There’s only one solution: tell your loved ones. There are a thousand ways to spoil others other than with money, and often you will be told that your presence is a gift in itself. You can bring homemade cakes, offer to help set the table, wash the dishes, tidy up, take care of the children…
You are hospitalized?
Know that there are many events and associations that are there to brighten up your parties, ask the staff. Also take the time to get to know your room neighbours better, it can be an opportunity to start friendly relationships that will help you through this delicate period in your life.
Do you think the holiday season has become too commercial and has lost its spiritual quality?
You can ask those around you about this, discuss it, compare points of view. You will undoubtedly find some people who think like you, then it’s up to you to organise an \“Anti-Christmas\” party! Why not go to a show, go away for the weekend, or watch a good film with friends while sipping a hot chocolate!
Think about what a happy holiday season means to you. Then act accordingly to achieve it. Don’t wait for it to happen on its own, you may be disappointed!
2. A few tips and tricks if I’m on my own
And if, despite everything, you are still alone at the end of the year, it’s not the end of the world, is it? Always look on the bright side of life! Here are some tips on how to liven it up.
First of all, beware of social networks and of these idealised images that are broadcast to us all day long: happy families, blossoming friends, photos of children surrounding the tree, Christmas decorations that make you dream, fabulous meals, gifts galore… In short, everything to make us believe that we are alone in the world among millions of happy people. Take a step back of course, don’t forget that all these networks serve as a showcase for those who wish to promote themselves, and that we therefore expose the best of ourselves, even if it means lying…
Don’t force yourself to see people at all costs, under the pretext that you MUST be in a group for the end-of-year celebrations. You know the saying: \“better alone than in bad company\”. Embrace the fact of being alone and don’t go and find yourself in a painful situation from which you will have trouble getting out. Loneliness is not a punishment or a shameful evil, assume it!
Ask around at local associations, at the town hall… Very often on these festive evenings you will be welcomed with open arms if you offer to volunteer in reception centres, homes, old people’s homes, etc. Helping others is one of the best ways to feel at peace with yourself, and it is a surefire way of lifting your spirits!
Savour your solitude. Enjoy it! It is so rare in our society to be able to take a step back and care for oneself for a few hours.
I hope I have been able to help and advise you, and I wish you a very happy holiday season, in harmony with yourself and in self-love!