This article was co-authored by Adam Dorsay, PsyD and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden. Dr. Adam Dorsay is a licensed psychologist in private practice in San Jose, CA, and the co-creator of Project Reciprocity, an international program at Facebook's Headquarters, and a consultant with Digital Ocean’s Safety Team. He specializes in assisting high-achieving adults with relationship issues, stress reduction, anxiety, and attaining more happiness in their lives. In 2016 he gave a well-watched TEDx talk about men and emotions. Dr. Dorsay has a M.A. in Counseling from Santa Clara University and received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2008.
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Many holidays are centered around surrounding yourself with family members and gathering in large groups, so it can be tough to enjoy your holiday all by yourself. However, spending a holiday alone can actually be more enjoyable than hanging out with other people, and you might even find that you like it more. There are a few things you can do on your own to make your holiday season special this year.
Method 1Method 1 of 3:Relaxing Download Article
- 1Stay in your pajamas all day. If you’re planning to spend the day at home, you don’t need to bother with real pants. Put on your softest sweatpants or your coziest robe and lounge around the house while staying comfortable.XResearch source
- If staying in pajamas all day makes you feel a little gross, don’t be afraid to change into real clothes.
- You could even treat yourself to a new pair of cozy pajamas.
- 2Sleep in. It’s your holiday! Turn off your alarm and let your body wake up naturally. You can enjoy the extra rest and return to your normal life feeling refreshed and energized.XResearch source
- Holidays with other people often involve a long itinerary that you might have to wake up early for. Enjoy the time you get sleeping while you spend this holiday alone!
- 3Take a nap in the middle of the day. Speaking of sleep, why not catch up on it in the afternoon? When the entire day is yours, you can use it how you please. If you’re feeling tired, take a quick siesta in your bed or on your couch.XResearch source
- If you’re worried about sleeping the day away, set an alarm to wake you up after 1 to 2 hours.
- 4Have a spa day at home. Run yourself a bubble bath, put on a face mask, and paint your nails. Give yourself a deeply relaxing afternoon to enjoy your time alone without the distraction of anyone else’s company.XResearch source
- Throw on some soothing tunes and read a book while you soak in the tub for a truly relaxing experience.
- 5Reach out to family and friends. If you want to see your loved ones but you can’t be there in person, a quick phone call or a video chat will probably help. Send them a text to see when they’re available and spend some time talking about your holiday traditions, even if you can’t be together in person.XResearch source
- They can also give you some emotional support if you’re feeling a little lonely or sad.
- 6Limit your technology use. If you’re spending your holiday alone, it might be tempting to stay completely plugged in to your social media and email, but taking a break is good for your mental health. Try turning off your phone and computer to focus on yourself throughout the day instead of others.XExpert SourceAdam Dorsay, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist & CounselorExpert Interview. 27 March 2020.
- Create a specific time in the day and amount of time to use technology during your holiday. This will help you keep your connection in check.
- Focus on creating time for other things, like reading or drawing.XResearch source
Method 2Method 2 of 3:Treating Yourself Download Article
- 1Plan an outing to the movies, a museum, or a park. If you’re not the type of person who likes to spend all day at home, try going out somewhere instead. You could go shopping, see a movie or a play, take a crafting class, or go on a hike.XResearch source
- Some attractions might be closed for the holidays or have different hours. Check online to see what’s open before you head out for the day.
- 2Eat your favorite foods. Whether you want to go out to your favorite restaurant or cook at home, splurge a little on food. It’s what the holidays are all about, right?XResearch source
- This could be as simple as stocking up your fridge before your holiday so you don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store.
- Get a little fancy. Make a cheese plate, and buy a nice wine just for you. Or, just spend some time plating up your favorite junk foods instead of eating them straight from the bag.
- Even though you’re on your own, clean up right after you eat to keep your holiday and space relaxing.
- 3Give yourself a gift. Gifts don’t have to just be for other people! If there’s something you’ve been eyeing in the shops for a while, go out and buy it for yourself. It’s a holiday, and you deserve it.XResearch source
- If you want to get even fancier, you could wrap it up in gift wrap, too.
- 4Create a new holiday tradition. While traditions are fun to uphold, they can be a little hard to do on your own. Instead, try making a new holiday tradition all on your own that you can do every year, whether you’re on your own or with other people. You could:XResearch source
- Be a tourist in your own town.
- Walk around your neighborhood to see the Christmas lights.
- Watch a new holiday movie.
- Send holiday cards to your friends and family.
- 5Get away for a few days. If your budget is flexible enough, try planning a weekend trip to a resort or a spa. This will get you out of the house and give you some nice activities to do during the holidays so you don’t spend them in your home by yourself.XResearch source
- Ski resorts, tropical destinations, and small towns are all fun to visit during the holidays.
Method 3Method 3 of 3:Being Productive Download Article
- 1Volunteer somewhere. If you live near a shelter or a mission, reach out to see if they need help during the holidays. If you already volunteer somewhere, ask if you can come in on your day off. Giving back is what the holidays are all about, and it will probably make you feel good, too.XResearch source
- If you volunteer somewhere and you enjoy the experience, consider volunteering more often than just one day a year.
- 2Dive into a creative project. If you have a creative outlet, dive in and make something really special. You could draw, paint, make a collage, embroider, or knit—whatever makes you feel accomplished at the end of the day.XResearch source
- If you need to get holiday gifts for people, you could use your crafting skills to make them ornaments or care packages.
- 3Do some chores around your home. There’s nothing better than sitting down at the end of the day in a sparkling clean home. Give your area a deep clean so you can relax and enjoy the rest of your holiday in peace.XResearch source
- Make the chores more fun by throwing on your favorite TV show or some fun tunes in the background.
- 4Tackle a few home projects. Is there a room in your home that needs to be painted? Or a closet that’s particularly messy? If you’d like to, you can knock out a few of these projects while you’re home by yourself.XResearch source
- If a home project sounds like too much right now, stick to simple chores instead.
Expert Q&A Did you know you can get premium answers for this article?Unlock premium answers by supporting wikiHow
- QuestionHow do I deal with my holiday anxiety?
- QuestionIs it OK to go on holiday by yourself?
- QuestionHow do I survive the holiday alone?It's all about finding things that will help you relax. Do something you enjoy and take some time to yourself. You can always reach out to a friend or family member to see if they'd like to spend the day with you. Even if it's just a video chat or a phone call, that kind of thing can go a long way to making you feel better.
- ↑Adam Dorsay, PsyD. Licensed Psychologist & Counselor. Expert Interview. 27 March 2020.
About This Article
If you find yourself alone during a holiday, take advantage of the opportunity to relax and set your own schedule. Try savoring a long, leisurely morning routine, and have a relaxing nap if you feel tired during the day. You can also try meditating or doing a little yoga to help you destress. While you’re trying to unwind, limit your access to phones and the internet so that the worries of everyday life don’t cut into your downtime. For more ideas about how to make the best of your alone time, including giving yourself a special treat or using your break to be productive, keep reading!
Reader Success Stories
- "Just reading this article made me realize that there are others that are alone on holidays also, and instead of lying in bed feeling sorry for myself, I'm gonna take this advice to heart, get out of the bed, and have a do-myself day. Thank you very much, I needed this Happy Thanksgiving!"..." more