Oh Silent Night….How to Cope with a Lonely Christmas

Millions of individuals have had to face extreme loneliness this year through the months-long quarantines and stay-at-home orders. And, with many people choosing to stay home during the Holidays we are facing a record number of “silent nights”.

Being alone on any day of the year is difficult, but it is even more difficult on special days like Christmas.

If you’ll be spending this Christmas away from family, I’ve put together a few tips to help get you through the season:

  1. Plan Ahead - You know what the day is going to hold, might as well make it as enjoyable as possible! Plan out your day chock full of Holiday movies, yummy treats, and anything else that will put a smile on your face.

  2. Reach Out to Friends and Family - Even though you may not be in the same house as your family and friends, that doesn’t mean you can’t still connect. Plan a zoom call to open presents together, facetime to sing carols, or simply hop on the phone to wish your family a Merry Christmas.

  3. Watch Out for Negative Coping Mechanisms - It can be tempting to want to avoid negative feelings with negative coping mechanisms like alcohol, drugs, binge eating, or any other habit that doesn’t lead to a healthier life. Make a plan ahead of time to avoid any pitfalls and make sure you have a friend who can hold you accountable.

  4. Remember This Isn't Forever - How many times have we had to tell ourselves “this isn’t forever” this year? It may not hold the same weight as it did at the beginning of the year, but try and remind yourself that it really isn’t going to last forever. This year has been hard and it’s turning out to be even harder during the Holidays. But, Christmas comes around every year and how much sweeter will it be next year when you’re able to celebrate together again?

  5. Give a Little Gift to Your Neighbors - Most likely, you’re not the only person on your block facing a smaller Christmas. Write a little note or drop off a small treat for the neighbors around you who are staying home as well. You’ll probably make their day and knowing you’re not in this alone will help you feel better as well.

No matter how many tips or tricks you try there’s no getting around the fact that a Holiday away from friends and family stinks. If you’re facing a lonely Christmas and need someone to talk to you can email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323 to set up a phone or video session. You’re not alone this year, even if it may feel like it.