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When you are alone at Christmas

There are many reasons for being alone at this time of the year; you may have had loved ones pass away, you may be living away from home, perhaps you don't have strong relationships with family or friends or just feel the need to be alone after a trying year.

Whatever the circumstances, loneliness during Christmas can be particularly difficult, whatever your religion and no matter how your family traditions celebrate holiday season.

There are a few ways you can cope with being alone at Christmas. On option is to address your mental state and how it is contributing to your loneliness. Christmas is the perfect day to take the time to appreciate what you have in life, be it good health, a place to live, or food on the table. Having gratitude will also help you to move past anxiety, as you learn to live in the present moment and be mindful of your surroundings. One way to practice gratitude is to write down three things you are grateful for on this day. You can also look at re-framing your negative thoughts if they overwhelm your gratitude. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help with this, and help you stop dwelling gone negative thoughts.

Another important consideration is that you can find things to do at Christmas to make yourself feel less alone. You can go out, do something productive nd/or social to take your mind off your loneliness. Say yes more to invitations, even if it is just to chat to a passerby. You could also volunteer; this is a great way to get a better appreciation of the good things in your life. Volunteering can help you connect with others, boost your self esteem and bring joy to those less fortunate. If social activities make you nervous, this is a great way to test your boundaries and expand your social skills.

Finally, if being alone on Christmas in unavoidable, enjoy your solitude. Plan a day for yourself, buy something got treat yourself, cook your favourite food and plan a movie marathon of guilty pleasures. Christmas is a tim to indulge in whatever brings you joy!

If you can't cope with being alone, reach out. Call a friend, family member, neighbour or helpline.

If you find yourself fearful of being alone this year, a therapist can help. Methods for reducing anxiety, dealing with grief and trauma, and talking through social isolation are available through cognitive therapies.

Jarvis Hypnotherapy offers a free phone consultation to see if a session would be right for you.

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