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Spending Christmas alone? How to enjoy the festive season when you're riding solo

Spending Christmas on your own doesn't have to be lonely

Portrait of a funny emotional cheerful young woman with horns on her head in a green cozy warm sweater laughing having fun holding and eating a lollipop and ginger cookies on Christmas day on the background of a decorated Christmas tree at home in winter on New Year's Eve
Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
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Whether you're working, you live far away from family or friends, or you're just not in the mood for festive cheer this year, there are plenty of reasons you could be spending Christmas alone.

And while the festive season is famed for being about time spent with family and friends, spending Christmas alone can be magical too, just maybe not in the traditional sense.

According to Google, there's been a 309.75% uplift in the past month of people searching for 'spending Christmas alone,' so if you're one of the many people planning to spend December 25th solo, we spoke to Emily Carr of CreateGiftLove for her advice on how to make the most of a solo Christmas.

Beautiful young lady relaxing at home on fireside. Burning candle, bowl with tangerines, Christmas mood© Getty
Spending Christmas alone doesn't have to be lonely

How to have a magical Christmas on your own

1. Reframe Christmas

"First things first, reframe the typical Christmas stereotype," says Emily.

"Ultimately, no matter how a person spends Christmas, their intention is to feel joy, and there is no reason that you can’t feel joy when spending Christmas alone. Christmas Day is a chance to press pause on fast-paced 21st-century life, and spending the day alone presents a rare opportunity where you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

"Empower the day by making a list of activities that you always want to do but never have the chance to. Whether it’s reading a book, partaking in some meditation or even cleaning. If it gives you a sense of accomplishment or joy – put it on the list!"

 woman comfortably sitting on the sofa in her living room, enjoying Christmas holidays, spending her time browsing social media on a tablet device.© Getty
Structuring your solo day can help it feel more special

2. Structure the day

"If you are dreading spending Christmas Day alone, it can be easy to put off thinking about it, says Emily. "Instead, structure the day so you know exactly what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. This will avoid a sense of boredom kicking in or negative feelings."

 READ: Busy December? You need to try 'snackable wellness' 

3. Treat yourself

"Spending Christmas alone doesn’t mean that you cannot receive gifts," says Emily. "Purchase a gift for yourself that you wouldn’t usually buy, large, or small. Don’t open it until Christmas Day and even wrap it to make it feel extra special."

Emily is right that treating ourselves is key to happiness; studies have shown that treating ourselves leaves us feeling less exhausted and with a greater sense of happiness and life satisfaction – if that's not what Christmas is for, we don't know what is!

4. Indulge in guilt-free self-care

Many of us feel guilty for spending time on ourselves, but consider Christmas Day the ultimate opportunity for this.

Young woman making hot tea at home and prepare Christmas meal. Home is decorated with Christmas tree, ornaments, wreath and garland lights.© Getty
Ignore comparison culture during the Christmas period

"Empower Christmas Day by declaring it a guilt-free 24 hours," Emily encourages. "If you can’t be bothered or are not a fan of a roast dinner, make your favourite meal instead. Binge watch your favourite TV shows with your favourite snacks, have a bath with candles. Do all your favourite things, and do not feel guilty about it."

 READ: Is this the reason we're all so exhausted right now? 

5. Ignore comparison culture

"Stay away from social media on Christmas Day," encourages Emily. "Chances are, your connections are going to be posting the highlights of their day. Remember, these are just their highlights. If social media is likely to rob the day of joy, delete the apps for the day."

6. Go for a Christmas walk

Research shows that surrounding yourself with nature can improve your mental wellbeing and see your whole body relax. "Being in nature lowers the stress hormone cortisol and has even been shown to lower blood pressure," explains Emily. "Scheduling in a walk when spending Christmas alone can boost your mood and chat to other people."

 READ: I went for a walk every day - here's what it did to my stress levels 

7. Remember it's just 24 hours

"Christmas Day has the same 24 hours as any other day of the year and you don’t have to celebrate it at all," says Emily. "If you feel that acknowledging the day will conjure to many negative feelings, refrain from celebrating it at all."

Those 24 hours will pass just as quickly, there's no reason to mark them if you don't want! Tomorrow is another day, after all.

Visit HELLO!'s Happiness Hub for more optimism-boosting content.

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