At Christmas, you can eat and drink to your heart’s content. When it comes to being “merry,” you may find the concept more challenging to achieve. That’s because even with the bright and colorful celebrations around you, you still feel isolated—lonely.

Loneliness is, in itself, already an unpleasant emotion to deal with, leading to unhealthy habits. Add the festive mood of Christmas and it can feel even more painful. But there are ways to avoid this feeling of isolation, and turn your lonely Christmas into one that is truly bright and merry.

Here are five ways for you to do it:

1. Accept things as they come

A big part of feeling lonely during this season is having unrealistic expectations. You might expect your friend to listen more to you than to dictate solutions to your problems. You might have relocated and still expect friends from another city to celebrate the season with you.

Setting unrealistic expectations will make you feel lonelier during the holidays. So try to think about your celebration differently. Adapt to the changes in your life. And learn to accept things as they come.

2. Go out and mingle

You have to be proactive during Christmas. You need to seek out the company of others. Interact and do not isolate yourself. You can find a local group and try out a new hobby. Pick up the phone to call a friend instead of texting or instant messaging them online. Visit a neighbour or invite a neighbour over for coffee and pastries.

3. Help others

When you volunteer, you not only avoid experiencing a lonely Christmas but also lend a helping hand. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, the local school, or an animal shelter. Find time to give to others and that sense of purpose will help you avoid feeling lonely.

4. Take good care of yourself

In the rush of the season, you might forget the basic things in life that keep you healthy: eating right, sleeping well, and laughing. When you neglect your body, anxiety and stress will follow. Take good care of your body and you will remain strong against the negative emotions that come with feelings of isolation.

5. Talk it out with a therapist

Finally, when your loneliness takes over and you feel powerless against it, talk it out with a therapist. Don’t ignore it, thinking it will pass when Christmas is done. Profound loneliness can have an impact on your health.

Explore the depths and the real reasons behind your loneliness at Christmas. Let a therapist guide you.

If you need some help or support for making positive changes in your life, search our national directory of counsellors and psychotherapists at