Christmas is bittersweet. It has the potential to be the highlight of your year or could potentially be extremely painful. If you find yourself alone on Christmas Day, whether this is because of transport issues, or simply because it is not feasible to spend it with anyone, here are a few tips to hopefully make Christmas just as good as spending it with others.
Realise it’s perfectly acceptable to celebrate alone
Or just not celebrate at all. Even if you spent last Christmas in the Maldives with your extended family, it is perfectly fine, normal even, to spend it alone this year. It can be daunting to find yourself in halls/student accommodation over the festive season as it’s so easy to assume everyone else is having the best time of their lives, but in reality that just isn’t true. Many people, including me, don’t celebrate Christmas to any huge extent other than doing a roast. Despite what you see on social media, not everyone will be having a better time than you.
Do whatever the heck you want
If you want to eat a whole loaf of bread in your underwear and drink wine: DO IT. If you want to go on a ten mile run and then have a three-hour bath: DO IT. Whatever the heck you want to do, seriously, just do it. Have the most extravagant, indulgent day of your life so far.
Stay in touch
If there is someone you would usually spend Christmas with, phone or Skype them if you can. Get in touch with people a few weeks before the big day and arrange a quick phone call, tell them your situation. When it looked like I would be spending Christmas alone due to work circumstances, I was surprised by the number of friends who offered for me to spend the day with them. If you aren’t comfortable staying with others, then a simple phone call will honestly make the day so much easier. People want to be there for you, all you need to do is ask.
If you’re ok with spending it on your own, embrace it
Some people hate Christmas with a passion. It’s a glorified Sunday, what’s the fuss about anyway? It can be stressful, tear families apart in some cases. If spending Christmas on your own sounds perfect, then embrace it. Enjoy your own space and tell others how genuinely wonderful it was for you. You might just inspire others and reassure them that Christmas doesn’t have to be celebrated how the adverts tell us to. Rock it.
If you are struggling, tell someone
Christmas break can be daunting for a myriad of reasons. It is easy to bottle everything up and let your feelings stagnate during this time. If it is possible, speak to someone you know. Drop a coursemate a message and ask if they have time for a chat. Be honest and truthful with someone if they ask if you are ok. It is so much easier for people to support you if you tell the whole truth about how you are feeling.
Invest in yourself
Emotionally, physically, and financially, this might be an opportunity to invest and cultivate yourself. Personal growth doesn’t just start with New Year’s resolutions. If the year has worn you out and you’ve let certain hobbies gather dust, pick them up again over the coming weeks. Catch up on coursework, sort out your roots, deep clean your home. Anything that you have not had time to do, now is your chance.
So no matter what you’re doing this Christmas, put yourself first and stay in touch with family and friends. And eat all the things!