Psych Corner: Feeling Lonely at Christmas? Here are 6 Ways to Find Joy

There really is something about the holiday season that can make you feel lonely if you don’t have a special someone to share it with. Maybe it’s just that everything is all merry and bright and romantic or maybe it’s all the holiday movies and commercials.  I mean really, we know every kiss begins with Kay.  

Here’s the thing, this may be an extra difficult time to be single, but there are some definite things you can do to embrace this time of year and find joy regardless of your relationship status.

1. Count your blessings.

This is not meant to be cliché, because there is real power in shifting your perspective. So take a moment and think about where you are focusing your thoughts and energy and intentionally shift that focus onto the things and people in your life that bless you.

2. Take some initiative.

Holiday parties, events, and traditions are not exclusive to those who have a family or are in a relationship. Reach out to some of your friends and plan a fun holiday event. Focus your energy on what relationships you have and in organizing a fun time rather than focusing on what is lacking.

3. Step out of your world.

We can be so wrapped up in our own worlds that we sometimes fail to get into the lives of others. Come up with one way to transport yourself into the life of another this holiday season. Here are some ideas: volunteer at a soup kitchen, organize a Toys for Tots toy collection, or pass out Christmas cards at a nursing home.

4. Reflect on the past, look toward the future.

Use this time alone to reflect on your past relationships and take inventory of the things that went well and then the things that didn’t go so well. What do you notice about your past relationships that you want to do differently moving forward? Do you want to look for different qualities in a partner? Could you set boundaries differently? Do you want to move more slowly in your next relationship? Set two to three goals for your future relationships.  

5. Embrace your “me” time.

Even though this time of year can be a glaring reminder of your aloneness, work to embrace this opportunity to work on any personal goals you have for yourself. Maybe you’ve got some baggage you need to work through; or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn something new, or read a certain book, or pursue a particular hobby. Whatever it is, now is a great time to invest in you.

6. Make every day special

Sometimes it really is the small things that make the biggest difference. Try to incorporate special small things into your day that really give you joy. Perhaps it’s grabbing a coffee on your way to work or picking up carryout from your favorite restaurant or just driving around looking at Christmas lights. Whatever does it for you, try to incorporate these things into your day so that you have things to look forward to and so you really enjoy this season while taking care of you.


Finding joy throughout the holiday season shouldn’t depend on your relationship status, but sometimes the couple and family oriented spirit can be inescapable.  Thrive through this holiday season by balancing your focus outward and inward. Expend energy outward by serving and connecting with others. But also look inward by shifting your focus, setting personal goals, taking care of yourself, and embracing your alone time. You’ve got this!

Morgan C
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