Christmas Survival Plan
I know some of you will be spending Christmas alone.
This post is not for those of you who are choosing not to celebrate this year. This post is not for those of you who have decided that “all you want for Christmas” is to spend the day enjoying your own company.
This post is for anyone who has unintentionally found themselves without company for Christmas Day; and anyone who feels apprehensive about getting through these next few days in general.
Here is the best of my Christmas-Alone advice:
Have a plan:
This is the only rule that is absolutely crucial if you’re feeling at all nervous, worried or sad about facing tomorrow alone.
While you don’t have to do anything particularly SPECIAL just because it is Christmas, a plan will make sure that what ever you choose to do with your day is at least DELIBERATE.
The structure of a plan will keep you on track, distract you from negative thoughts and have the bonus side effect of giving you a sense of accomplishment. You’re also far less likely to succumb to festive blues if you have direction.
Do not worry if you are reading this on Christmas Eve and you still don’t have a plan!
Your plan doesn’t need to be elaborate or extravagant (or even particularly interesting), it just needs to be intentional. That’s it. Intend to do stuff tomorrow.
So, how do you decide how your going to spend your Bank Holidays? Here are a few things for you to consider:
1. Your relationship with Christmas
This is a pretty important factor, so put on your self awareness hat and examine your relationship with Christmas.
Just because you’re spending the day alone, doesn’t mean you don’t have options. You can totally indulge Christmas if you want to and watch Christmas film while singing Jingle Bells in a flashing jumper. You can totally ignore that it is December at all and spend the day doing something completely unrelated like life admin or meditation. You can embrace your favourite traditions (maybe you’re a massive sprouts fan) and skip some other parts (you never liked Love Actually anyway) and you can do any combination or variable of the above.
Do not limit yourself to what you think others will expect you to be doing, or what you think spending Christmas alone “should” look like.
2. Understand your limitations
It’s a pain in the ass, but a lot of places are closed on Christmas Day so, while I fully encourage dreaming BIG, you should be prepared for the fact that many restaurants, shops, pubs and public attractions are shut and that public transport is at best limited.
Do some Googling, find out what is open and closed near you and factor that into your plans. A lot of shops have their opening times stuck up on their door, so taking a quick walk around your neighbourhood might do the trick.
You do not have to spend the whole day in the house by any means, but if you plan to - nip out tonight and get your essentials (once you’ve figured out your plan, of course). Running out of teabags could be the thing that totally throws off your plan.
3. Eat stuff
You should put some kind of food in yourself. It doesn’t need to be a turkey, it can be but it really doesn’t need to be. Plan your food too.
4. Think before you drink
Only you know what your relationship with alcohol is like, what kind of drunk you are and how well you cope with a hangover. Think about these things and then choose whether or not to factor alcohol into your Christmas plan and (if possible) when you will enjoy a tipple and when you will remain sober.
ALWAYS factor your potential hangover into your plans and your decision making process.
5. Do you
If you hate Christmas Dinner but love walking, spending the whole day burning a turkey in the house is probably not the ideal plan.
Try to think back to the best day you’ve ever spent on your own and figure out what really made the day enjoyable. If possible, plan some of those activities into your day.
6. Allow yourself to deviate
The plan is a safety net that will give you direction and focus if you find yourself feeling lonely or sad, it isn’t binding.
If you happen to be walking past your local community centre on Christmas Morn and there’s a gathering of the funniest and coolest people you have ever met (and free tea and biscuits), then go in by all means.
Once a plan is in place, it can be changed - just please make sure you have one!!
7. Don’t make any big decisions
Any time when your emotions are running high is a time when you should not be making any big decisions. Snowballs are potent, do not buy a boat or file for divorce.
8. Reach out if you need to
While it’s totally cool to shove your phone onto Flight Mode and forget all about it, it’s also really awesome if you find yourself wanting to connect with people and there are SO MANY ways to do this (like #joinin on Twitter).
If you do find yourself really needing someone to talk to, consider calling the Samaritans on 116 123 (they also chat via text and email if you would prefer).
I hope that you all find the day easier than you are anticipating and that you make the most of your day. I wish you good health and happiness always, which includes this Christmas!
Peace and love,
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