Cheers to Tears

Coping with the Holidays Alone: Self-Care Strategies and Support

For some people, the holiday season is a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration. However, for others, it can be a difficult time, particularly for those who find themselves spending the holidays alone.

Whether due to personal circumstances or unforeseen events, being alone during the holidays can be tough, and can bring up feelings of sadness, loneliness, and isolation. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to take care of yourself and acknowledge your feelings.

Here are some suggestions for coping with the holidays alone:

Importance of Acknowledging Feelings

The first step in coping with the holidays alone is to acknowledge your feelings. It’s okay to feel sad, lonely, or disappointed during this time, and denying or suppressing those feelings can actually make things worse.

Take some time to identify your emotions and allow yourself to feel them. You might consider journaling, talking to a friend or therapist, or simply setting aside some quiet time to reflect.

Making a Plan for the Day

One helpful strategy for coping with the holidays alone is to make a plan for the day. This can help you feel more in control of the situation and give you something to look forward to.

Your plan might include activities like going for a walk, cooking a special meal, watching a movie, or indulging in a favorite hobby. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, consider asking friends or family members for suggestions.

Finding Alternative Means of Connection

Just because you’re spending the holidays alone doesn’t mean you have to be completely isolated. There are plenty of alternative ways to connect with others, even if you can’t be together in person.

You might consider scheduling a video call or phone chat with friends or family, joining an online community or support group, or reaching out to a volunteer organization to see if there are opportunities to help others in need.

Identifying and Avoiding Triggers

If you’ve experienced difficult or traumatic events during the holidays in the past, it’s important to be aware of potential triggers and take steps to avoid them. This might mean staying away from certain places or activities, setting boundaries with people who make you feel uncomfortable, or developing a self-care plan to cope with any difficult emotions that arise.

Reframing the Holiday Day and Indulging

Another way to cope with the holidays alone is to reframe your perspective and focus on ways to indulge in self-care. Instead of viewing the day as a time of loneliness or sadness, try thinking about it as an opportunity for rest, relaxation, and indulgence.

This might mean treating yourself to a favorite meal, taking a long bubble bath, or snuggling up with a good book or movie.

Volunteering and Creating New Traditions

Finally, one of the most rewarding ways to cope with the holidays alone is to volunteer your time and energy to help others. This can be a wonderful way to connect with like-minded people, make a positive impact in your community, and create new holiday traditions that emphasize giving back.

Consider researching local volunteer opportunities, reaching out to charities or non-profit organizations, or simply brainstorming ways to help those in need.

Honesty and Self-care

In addition to coping with the holidays alone, it’s important to prioritize honesty and self-care in all aspects of your life. This might mean setting boundaries with toxic people, seeking professional help if necessary, and making time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish, but rather a necessary part of living a healthy, fulfilling life.

Talking to a Therapist and Seeking Support

If you’re struggling to cope with the holidays alone, and feel like you need additional support, consider talking to a mental health professional. A therapist can help you process your feelings, develop coping strategies, and provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to work through any challenges you might be facing.

Acceptance and Making the Most

Finally, it’s important to practice acceptance and make the most of the situation, whatever it may be. While it’s natural to wish things were different, sometimes we have no choice but to accept our circumstances and focus on the positives.

This might mean reframing your perspective, focusing on self-care, or seeking out new opportunities for growth and connection. In conclusion, spending the holidays alone can be tough, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone in your struggles.

By taking care of yourself, acknowledging your feelings, and seeking out connection and support, you can find ways to cope with the holidays and even create new traditions and memories that bring joy and fulfillment to your life. The holidays can be a time of joy, but also a time of stress and anxiety.

With so many social events, family gatherings, and expectations to meet, it can be tempting to engage in behaviors that are not conducive to our overall well-being. Here are some things to avoid during the holidays:

Avoid Reaching Out to Exes

The holidays may bring up feelings of nostalgia or regret, particularly when it comes to past romantic relationships. However, it’s important to resist the urge to reach out to exes or engage in behaviors that may be emotionally risky.

This includes sending texts or emails, stalking their social media profiles, or trying to rekindle a relationship that has ended. Instead, focus on building meaningful connections with friends, family, or new romantic interests.

Abstain from Drinking/Abandoning Sobriety

Drinking and drug use can be particularly tempting during the holiday season, especially if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. However, it’s important to remember that alcohol and drugs can have negative effects on our physical and mental health, including increased risk of accidents, impaired judgment, and worsening of mood disorders.

If you struggle with addiction, it’s important to prioritize your sobriety and seek help from support groups or treatment programs.

Avoiding Self-Pity and Feeding Negative Emotions

It’s natural to feel sad or down during the holidays, particularly if you’re dealing with personal or family difficulties. However, it’s important to avoid falling into a pattern of self-pity or ruminating on negative emotions.

This can lead to deeper feelings of despair, hopelessness, and anxiety. Instead, try to focus on positive self-talk, gratitude, and mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or yoga.

Maintaining Perspective and Gratitude

One of the most important things to avoid during the holidays is losing sight of perspective and gratitude. It’s easy to get caught up in materialism, social comparison, and perfectionism during this time of year, but it’s important to remember what really matters our health, our relationships, and our personal growth.

Practicing gratitude, by making a list of things we’re thankful for, can help shift our focus and remind us of the good things in our lives. In conclusion, the holiday season can be a challenging time, but by being mindful of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, we can make it through with grace and positivity.

It’s important to avoid certain behaviors, such as reaching out to exes, drinking, self-pitying, and losing perspective. Instead, focus on connecting with positive people, practicing healthy behaviors, seeking help if necessary, and cultivating a sense of gratitude and perspective.

Remember, the holidays are about joy, love, and reflection use this time to cultivate the best in yourself and others. In conclusion, the holidays can be a time of joy and connection, but also a time of stress and challenges.

By prioritizing self-care, mindfulness, and healthy behaviors, we can make the most of this season and emerge stronger and more resilient. Remember to acknowledge your feelings, practice gratitude, and seek support when needed.

With these principles in mind, you can enjoy a happy, fulfilling holiday season.


Q: How can I stay connected with loved ones during the holidays if we can’t be together in person?

A: Consider scheduling a video call or phone chat, sending cards or thoughtful gifts, or participating in online communities or support groups. Q: How can I cope with feelings of loneliness during the holidays?

A: Try making a plan for the day, reframing negative thoughts, practicing self-care, and seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist. Q: What should I do if I’m struggling with addiction during the holidays?

A: Prioritize your sobriety, seek help from support groups or treatment programs, and avoid triggering situations or people. Q: How can I cope with financial stress or pressure during the holidays?

A: Consider setting a budget, prioritizing experiences over material gifts, and looking for free or low-cost ways to celebrate. Q: How can I manage family dysfunction or conflict during the holidays?

A: Set clear boundaries, communicate your needs and expectations, and consider working with a family therapist or mediator.

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