How I’m coping with Christmas on my own this year
Wei Yen, 24, is spending the holiday period on her own for the first time this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Here she shares how she's coping and how she's planning to make the most of it.
This year, I’ll be celebrating Christmas on my own in a new country, far away from my family and close friends for the first time. This is not completely due to Covid-19; I moved to the UK on my own in September to further my studies. That being said, any plans I made to visit family during the holidays were quickly scrapped due to the pandemic.
Celebrating Christmas by myself will be a new experience for me - I’ve always been surrounded by family and friends during the holidays. Of course, I’ve made several good friends in the past three months, but even they have their own plans with family and significant others. Do I feel lonely? Yes. If you’re celebrating Christmas on your own this year (not entirely by choice), you might feel the same too. But try not to let loneliness define your holiday season.
I catch myself thinking that if I’m not with family, then Christmas won’t be the same - that it won’t be as joyful. But that’s not true. Feeling lonely is completely normal. You’re allowed to feel lonely. You’re also allowed to not feel lonely. However you’re feeling is valid, and you can still find joy in the holidays, even if you can’t spend it in person with loved ones this year.
Personally, although I may feel lonely, I also feel hopeful. I feel hopeful because Christmas ushers in the New Year with new possibilities. I’m also hopeful that I will be able to master croissants this Christmas because the kitchen is not being used by my mum to bake cookies or roast chicken. Maybe this year, I’ll start a new Christmas tradition. You could too.
I’ve found that practising gratitude always gets me in the right headspace to enjoy the holiday season. By writing down three things I’m grateful for each day, I open myself up to enjoy and appreciate what I have, rather than obsessing about what I don’t have.
For example, I have time to do anything I want to do and I can do these things in my own time. Part of me is happy that I can curl up on my couch and finally marathon watch all the Harry Potter movies this Christmas. Even if you can’t celebrate Christmas like usual, you should still do the things that bring you joy because they make you happy.
Of course, another part of me longs to be surrounded by the people I love, but I cannot change that. Besides, being away from family doesn’t mean that you can’t reach out to them or spend time with them in other ways.
The restrictions make it difficult to meet with anyone outside your household indoors, but virtual dinners are not out of the question. If possible, make some plans with family and friends to meet over Zoom. Feel free to make a Christmas feast for yourself, or you can order in. At the end of the day, you can celebrate Christmas in any way you want to.
If you’re finding things really difficult, speak to someone you trust about how you’re feeling or call a helpline. But otherwise stay safe, stay healthy, and remember that you are never truly alone even if you feel like you are.
Author: Wei Yen, 24
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