The Spirit of the Holidays: How to Beat the Loneliness Blues!


Updated: December 11, 2010

lonelyChristmasWhat do you do if you’re alone over the holidays?

With the emphasis on families and being with others, the holidays can be an especially tough time for those of us who find ourselves alone. And, most of us do end up on our own at various points in our lives, myself included. After my parents passed away, I spent quite a few holidays by myself… and I’ve lived to tell about it! Some years ago, my first “solo” Christmas celebration involved feeling sorry for myself while chowing down on a tub of cookie dough ice cream in my flannel pajamas. My wounded ego, or what I call the Goblin, loved the pity party. But, when I woke up the next day still full from all the ice cream and in the same pajamas, I vowed to never let the lonely holiday blahs happen again. So, with a little bit of effort during the subsequent years I was on my own, I was always able to find ways to brighten up the holiday season. You can too!

If you’re feeling lonely, here my recipe for adding some cheer and meaning to your holiday season:

Renounce the holiday fairy tale: Many of us have expectations that holidays should be just perfect—the doting partner, the well-behaved children, lots of presents, one big happy family, and so on. This idea of a holiday fairy tale only brings about anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, depression, emotional eating, and so on. Those of us who are alone often feel humiliated that we don’t have grand plans. Remind yourself that the perfect holiday is an illusion and there’s absolutely 100% nothing wrong with you if you’re alone.

Pick up the phone: Most people love opening their homes and expanding the celebration during the holiday season. So, call friends and acquaintances and ask if you can join them. Mention your predicament to the people around you. You might even decide to host a gathering at your home and with a family of friends. Remember, you’re not alone in being alone!

Volunteer: The year after my solo Christmas eating ice cream, I decided to volunteer at a soup kitchen in a underprivileged area of Toronto. To this day, that holiday was one of my most meaningful and memorable.  As I carved turkey (this was before I became a vegetarian) and chatted with homeless people, I got out of my head and quieted my Goblin. As I talk about in my first book, Remembering the Future, when you move out of separation mode, you connect with the All That Is and intuitive guidance. When we volunteer we not only help others, we also bring more meaning into our experience and tap into a power much greater than ourselves.  Even though I now spend Christmas with my husband Marc, we still make a point to do something to help people in need. So, go find a soup kitchen!

Do something fun: Even if you’re alone, there’s no need to sit around in your pajamas and let your Goblin blow off steam by getting you to focus on the negative. Come up with a fun activity to get out of your head. One year, I spent the whole day going to movies and had a blast. You might also go for a hike or find another way to connect with nature.

cookieWomanCreate a new tradition or ritual: What could you start doing that would bring more meaning and magic into your holiday? Perhaps you might want to tap into your creativity and make cookies or ornaments. Or, maybe you’d like to start to practice more self-care and take a luxurious bath. You can create meaningful traditions even on your own!

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude: A grateful spirit is essential to a happy, meaningful life. It also takes us outside of ourselves and connects us with the Divine. With an attitude of gratitude, we change our experience. Remember, energy follows thought. You don’t experience reality; you experience your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about reality. When you focus on gratitude and the brighter side of life, things will only get brighter. Even in the midst of tough times, we can all find small things we appreciate. So, name five things you’re grateful for right now!

Connect with Spirit: Find a way to connect with the Divine every day. Perhaps write a letter, pray, or meditate. Ask for guidance and support. And, remember separation is an illusion; you are never really alone, for Spirit is always with you.

In service and love,


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