There is no nice way to put it- this time of year sucks when you are alone. To be honest feeling lonely sucks at any time of the year but at Yule it particularly sucks. Loneliness is becoming something of an epidemic. According to a 2018 survey from The Economist and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), more than two in ten adults in the United States (22%) and the United Kingdom (23%) say they always or often feel lonely or lack companionship. More and more people are moving away from where they grew up and living far away from loved ones. More of us live alone. And can’t always get home from the holidays.
But being alone doesn’t mean your holiday season has to suck.
Infact with a little effort you can have an amazing yule alone!
6 years ago I was sofa surfing in Copenhagen after coming out of a bad break up. Being the holidays everyone I knew was spending it with their family and being the foreigner I didn’t have that fall back or the money to get home. Even the people who had kindly lent me their couch were not going to be in town over the holidays. It looked bleak. Now I love Yule. I do. I love the lights, the food, the whole schabang ! But the idea of spending this time alone at first made me feel miserable.
However, I wasn’t gonna let, being alone ruin my favourite time of the year.
I realised I had to create my own fun. So I did. And to be honest some of it was such fun I still do some of these things today on my own, even though I don’t have to. It does take effort. There is no doubt about that. But if there is no one else about it you have two choices. Get into the sadness about feeling alone and be miserable or try and do something to make yourself feel better. No it isn’t easy but you do have that choice. And you can turn it around.
I ended up making myself an amazing Christmas dinner, going to the theatre, giving gifts to strangers and to myself, spent a day in a pillow fort, made new friends and had a blast. It took a little courage but once I started it got easier.
So how do you have an amazing Yule alone? Here's how in 3 easy steps...
Work out what makes you feel good?
If you are a holiday spirit like me then you probably already know what you like about the holidays. If you are a holiday hater you may not have things you like about the holidays. However, you do have things you like to do in life. So work out what makes you feel good, make a big long list.
Figure out how you could do some of these things alone.
So on your list there are things that you can do alone. Like making yourself a nice dinner, going to the cinema, decorating your apartment, visiting a spa or a cultural spot or giving yourself presents (and heck if you wrap them early enough you might even forget what you got yourself!) It might feel a little bonkers doing this stuff alone but trust me it is fun. These days I love going out to a restaurant with a good book for company and I do it at least once a month just for fun!
Some things you might not be able to do with the people you love. Like being with them on Christmas day. If you really are turned off by the thought of Christmas day alone, then volunteer. It’s a lovely way to make friends and feel good. You can gift presents to co workers or neighbours. Is there a neighbourhood Christmas market, sing song or social gathering? Then go. You can always leave if you don’t find somebody to hang with.
And the best thing for spending Christmas alone is that thanks to the interwebs you can facetime or skype with people you love. I have had dinner dates with a friend over skype. We both made a lovely dinner grabbed some wine and ate and talked together over skype. Was it the same as being there? Not exactly but it was fun! With the marvels of the interwebs I can watch my Godson open his presents in Sweden and sing carols with my Mum in the UK! So book out some skype time with your nearest and dearest.
Make a plan and do it
The best advice I can give is to make a plan. You have to get clear about what you are going to do and follow it. So plan your fun and do it. That year I mapped out my Christmas day. Ate all the food I loved and didn’t have to fight anyone for the last yorkshire pudding (a definite bonus in my book), I opened presents with my family via skype and spent the evening watching some cosy films with the candles lit. And the best part was I spent the whole day in my PJ’s. Plan some special activities just for you and do them. It doesn’t have to be christmassy if you don’t like that kind of things. If you want to have chilli or pizza then have that. If you want to spend the whole day watching horror films or playing on WOW, then that is what you do. Throw into your special activities in the week before or after the holidays.
The main thing to remember is do what you plan. Even if you don’t feel it make yourself. Doing fun stuff on your own is awesome. Just look at the amazing Christmas Kevin had fighting baddies when he was Home Alone!
If you need some more ideas for ways to spend Yule alone check out these links for ideas.
You can also invest in a little kindness this Yule to spread the joy and make yourself healthier into the bargin – Find out how here!
Make this holiday alone something that you will remember for the next few years if not the rest of your life. You can turn it into your own personal celebration of you. And to be honest if you do that you will probably have a much better Yule than the people that spent it fighting over the last mince pie with their families.
Have a blast !! And don’t forget to tell me what you going to do in the comments below!