Tips on how to get through Christmas as a single person

Are you dreading the upcoming holiday season as a single person? Did you know that according to a recent survey, approximately 31% of single individuals reported feeling lonely during the holidays? Well, fear not, Christmas doesn't have to be all about cosy couples, matching pyjamas, and cheesy romantic movies (although, it can still be about cheesy romantic movies). It also need not be about resenting those very things either and in turn, adding to any potential low feeling.


Being unattached during this time of year can be quite liberating and empowering. 

So, if you find yourself flying solo this Christmas, do not despair as below are some tips that will help you navigate the festive madness and add some structure to this season for you.

Embrace self-care and look at your well-being during Christmas

The holiday season can be a challenging time for single individuals, as the focus on relationships may intensify feelings of loneliness or isolation. 

However, it is important to remember that this time of year should not solely revolve around romantic relationships. Instead, it presents an opportunity to embrace self-care even more and prioritise your well-being.

It may be that you seek out some counselling or professional support that can provide valuable guidance during this period. Just having someone to talk to impartially about your hopes, your fears and how you are feeling in general during this period can help to realign your thoughts and feelings. 

You may just need to be able to speak to a counsellor about life during the Christmas period openly and honestly with no judgement and to have honest feelings validated.

From there you may be able to move forward through the season feeling that you can embrace it or at the very least not feel as resentful or lonely through it.

With or without counselling, the Christmas period can also be used as a time to reflect on the previous year on what was good, what was bad, what can be maintained and what can be improved for the year ahead.

With self-care, something I discuss with my clients throughout the year is writing down these four questions and compiling a list (as big as it can be) with the questions being:

  • What do I like to do?
  • What would I like to do/try?
  • What do other people (friends, family, etc) like to do?
  • What would I advise other people to try?

Then from these four questions and the big list of answers go through them and get rid of things that are definite ‘no-no’s’ (either for now or in the future) and keep doing this until you are left with a handful of activities, hobby ideas, etc.

With that handful of activities, hobby ideas etc, you will set out and try them one at a time to see what sticks and what resonates with you.

For example, if one thing on your list is to go to the gym, maybe instead of waiting for ‘new year, new year me’ – why not start that now in the December Christmas period?

Create meaningful connections and engage in social activities with friends and family

Now just because you are single during Christmas, does not mean you do not have friends or family that you can engage with during this time.

Finding ways to create meaningful connections and engage in social activities with friends and family can help alleviate any feelings of loneliness during the holidays. 

Although being single might make you feel like an outsider at times, remember that 'belonging' comes in many forms. 

Surrounding yourself with loved ones who accept and appreciate you for who you are can provide a sense of connection and fulfilment. 

Whether you take the plunge and host a small gathering at your place and embrace it with open arms, attend other parties, or even simply spend quality time with those closest to you, these experiences will foster a sense of 'belonging' that we all crave.

Either way, picture this: cosy nights spent laughing around a crackling fire, heartwarming conversations over hot chocolate (or maybe something stronger), and joyous gatherings filled with love and cheer. By creating these bonds and embracing the magic of the season, you will discover that being single does not mean being alone.

Additionally, why not take advantage of all the festive events happening around your local town? From local parades to holiday markets with your friends or family members, immerse yourselves in the vibrant atmosphere as you explore stalls overflowing with delicious treats and unique gifts. Who knows, maybe you will even stumble upon some mistletoe-induced magic.

Be mindful of social media

We as people are extremely flawed and this is only intensified and magnified through social media. During this period, you may find yourself scrolling through different platforms, EG. Facebook and Instagram.

If you are going to scroll then I would encourage a nuanced view whilst doing this, just for it to help your mental health with some guidance, such as:

Happy couple pictures

As mentioned above we are all flawed and sometimes people post a perception that they are happy when in actual fact they are not. For example, you may even have knowledge of infidelity by one or both of the couple in the picture, or there may be some other issues that may be happening between them. So is this what you are comparing your life to, a photo of a relationship that hides from the world a lot of unhappiness? At least you being single is more authentic.

Therefore remembering ‘that what glistens, isn’t always gold.’

Likewise, it may well be that they are actually happy and are happy to share that with the world. If this is the case, then it could be that you think ‘good for them’ and good for two people who work well together finding each other in this crazy world and then you keep scrolling.

The point is, that the above are just two of many potential scenarios that are from that one picture and it is up to you to view it accordingly. The simplest way is to think they are two people and they are living their life in their relationship. I am me, I am living my life with my own goals, and my own dreams and currently, I am single and for that to change in the new year and beyond, the person will have to be right for me and I will have to be right for them.

Single people pictures

This is a similar nuanced approach to the above with regards to the example of ‘happy couple’ pictures. Again, the question to ask is, is the person in the picture that you are potentially comparing yourself to, really as happy as they portray or are they trying to convince themselves and/or others that they are happy? For example, they may have had a break-up recently and want an ex to see how well they are coping with it, so they post to hide their pain. This is one of many examples of what may be happening. Therefore, the question is, do you want to be comparing yourself to an image that may not even be authentic?

Likewise, as mentioned above, this person may actually be happy and doing what they enjoy and are sharing it with the world. Therefore, could you do something in the picture that you like to do or would like to try (as in, is it on your 4 questions list)? Could you reach out to this person and ask for pointers, advice, guidance, etc?

When it comes to other people on social media, I would encourage you to view it lightly, nuanced and just a snapshot (not always authentic) in time and I would urge you to remember this quote:

“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

Focus on personal growth and set goals for the upcoming year

Going back to the beginning of the article, this is a time that we can use effectively for ourselves to be more productive for the year ahead, whether that be in love, work, relationships of all kinds and/or life in general.

As a single person during the holiday season, it can sometimes feel like you are navigating through a crowded room with no one to hold your hand. Instead of dwelling on what might be missing, it might be better to focus on personal growth and set goals for the upcoming year

Think of it as planting seeds now that will blossom into beautiful opportunities in the months ahead. Just like a gardener tending to their plants, take this time to nurture yourself and watch as you flourish.

To embark on this journey of self-discovery, start by reflecting on the past year and identifying areas where you want to grow. 

In addition to focusing on personal growth, do not forget about setting goals for the upcoming year. The New Year brings with it a sense of possibility and fresh beginnings. 

Take advantage of this energy and write down your aspirations for the next twelve months. 

Perhaps you want to travel more, meet new people, or advance in your career. By visualising these goals and creating a plan of action, you will be creating a path, potentially guiding you towards success.

Share these things with supportive friends and family who understand your desire for personal growth. Also, seek out communities and groups (either online or local) that share similar interests so that you can connect with like-minded individuals along the way.

In conclusion, surviving Christmas as a single person is all about self-care, trying not to compare ourselves to others, meaningful connections, and personal growth. 

The holiday season may be filled with festivities and togetherness, but remember that true 'belonging' starts from within.

By prioritising your well-being, engaging in social activities with loved ones, and setting goals for the upcoming year, you can navigate this holiday season with confidence and joy. 

So set your goals high, nurture yourself with kindness, and let the magic of personal growth carry you towards a brighter tomorrow.

Remember, from the beginning of the article 31% of people report feeling alone, hopefully, now you can see that you are not alone in this experience and by embracing these tips you will have a more rewarding, fruitful Christmas experience.

If you feel the need to see or speak to a Counsellor, then this directory is one of the best places for you to find one, as well as local charities and the national helpline eg. The Samaritans.

Finally, I would encourage you to embrace romantic Christmas movies for the spirit that they are intended (after all who does not like a cheesy romantic Christmas film in December?).

With that, I wish you the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Wigan, Lancashire, WN1
Written by Ray Cruise
Wigan, Lancashire, WN1

I am an Integrative Psychotherapist/Counsellor based at Empowered Counselling Services.

I really enjoy working with people through their issues in a safe, non-judgmental, warm, empathetic environment - to see them change and transform as they begin to have their own realisations and, in turn, find and make the changes they need.

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