Being Alone and Depressed During the Holidays

Image: Winter by Alphonse Mucha
Winter by Alphonse Mucha

If you’re going to be alone during the holidays and you have clinical depression, you’re looking at a double whammy that could do a number on you before the end of the year. By Christmas Eve, your depression voice might be telling you that you’re a sad loser – unless you come up with some countermeasures. Keep these thoughts and suggestions in mind:

  • If you’re alone because someone close to you has died, or because your marriage or relationship has ended, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
  • Ask yourself – are you actually okay with being alone during the holidays, but feel that you should be spending it with other people? We’re all bombarded with images of happy families spending time together during the holidays. Remember that as wonderful as it can be to be with family, it’s also very stressful.
  • Don’t tell yourself that it’s not worth decorating or cooking when it’s just you. What’s wrong with decorating your place or cooking a special meal just for yourself? Chances are that doing the holiday activities that you’re used to doing with family or friends will give you a lift.
  • Don’t hide the fact that you’re spending the holidays alone from acquaintances or colleagues. If you’re frank about it, there’s a good chance that someone will invite you over for Christmas dinner.
  • Don’t drink. Alone and drunk is not a good combination. Chances are that you’ll become maudlin and more depressed.
  • Line up a special treat for yourself, like a museum visit, a concert or something else that will get you out of the house and make the holidays memorable.
  • Do some of the things that you did as a child, like watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or making Christmas cookies.
  • And last, you don’t have to be alone at the holidays. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship.
    Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships. Volunteer your time to serve or deliver holidays meals for people in need. Ask your local hospital if the children’s ward needs volunteers.

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10 Comments

  1. I’ve been on my own for the past 3-4 years on Christmas day. I’m single and not married and without work. It’s been like that for some time and now and feel past the point of no return.Theres no point making a Christmas dinner for just myself , so I just have a snack or something.I try not to look at the happy family scenario of everybody together round a table or sitting in the lounge with adverts. But leading up to Christmas, I have started to feel down unlike previous years.Maybe I have just had enough of the pressure of being on my own inspite of being able to please myself with what I do!

  2. My Danish boyfriend has thrown me and my daughter out to move on with his ex wife . We are now homeless after giving up everything to be with him . Back in the U.K. Now at the mercy of family who don’t really want us . I just cannot bear the pain .

    1. I’m so sorry for both of you. I’m thankful you and your daughter are out of a situation where you must’ve felt bad there too. Your family may not be super jazzed to have you two, but ya know what…that’s what family is for. Before you know it, you and your daughter will figure out what you’re going to do, and this bad time will be a distant memory and things will get better. Hold your head up high and be strong for your daughter. Think positive cuz there are a lot of good people and you just gotta find them, but you’re lucky to be blessed with a daughter. I don’t know what I’d do without mine. 🙂 Best wishes, and God bless you two.

    2. Don’t give up hope. I have been where you are now. I thought it would never get better but it did. My family made it clear we were a burden and they begrudged helping us. Just grit your teeth and tell yourself things are crap at the moment but it will get better. You will get past this. Thinking of you both x jan

  3. I remember spending some holiday’s just sleeping…had no where to go that is the worst feeling. Now that I have my 7 yr. Old I see things different. It might only be us two but thank god I’m not alone anymore.

  4. I agree with all the suggestions but one. Don’t hint for an invitation. I tell you this from personal experience. There’s nothing worse than spending Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Day with people who don’t really want you but invite you out of pity. Far better to be alone and keep your self-respect.

    1. I agree with you on this 100%. I used to invite myself to spend the holidays with people, but it seemed so forced.
      If I do get an invite anywhere it’s a last minute invite, glad to get an invite but it feels like an afterthought.

    2. I also agree regarding self invitations,
      you never feel comfortable, and other people
      soon find out that you are not happy.
      Far better to try and enjoy some time away
      from work, and do something that will take
      your mind off the misery of feeling alone
      at Christmas.

  5. I pretend I was an only child that I NEVER had a brother OR sister. And especially no obnoxious ADULT nephews or nieces !Which I wouldn’t have missed not having in the first place.They ALL stink with a capital “S” I NEVER get to see those little bastard children of my nephews and niece.Of course there is truth to one nephew’s children. He has three children ALL OUT OF WEDLOCK. He lives with his rich girlfriend who supports him.He’s 40 years old !