"Christmas is a really hard time for a lot of
single people," . "It's a time when we all tend to be a bit nostalgic. You almost always think about what you were
doing this time last year.
"It's bound to bring back memories, particularly when we're bombarded with
images of happy families. If you're single you're aware you're not really part of it.
"Even if you get lots of invitations, you feel they've only been issued
out of politeness and duty.
"I had a telephone call from a woman only half an hour ago whose husband recently left her. She said
she was in the middle of putting up the decorations, but was feeling it was utterly pointless. She said she felt there was
nothing to celebrate.
Sound like you? If so you are not alone. Here are a few suggestions that may
help. The most important thing to remember is to not push yourself into doing things that make you feel even more
alone or depressed. Do what makes you feel most comfortable.
TEN TIPS FOR SURVIVING CHRISTMAS ALONE
It's no use trying to ignore the fact that Christmas
is coming simply because you are on your own. Take time to plan ahead so that you have an idea of what you will be doing on
Make a pledge to avoid feeling sorry for yourself and dwelling on the past.
Learn to spot the warning signs and take prompt action by calling a friend or going out. Although alcohol tends to flow freely
at this time of year, drowning your sorrows is no t going to help.
Don't wait for friends to beat a path to your door. For example, you could
take the initiative by inviting friends to a "left-overs" party. Prepare a buffet for the main course and invite
people to bring a dish of their own.
Welcome invitations to share Christmas with another family - so many people
from all walks of life are on their own at this time of year that there is nothing to feel embarrassed about.
If you do prefer your own company over Christmas, plan your TV viewing carefully.
Many programmes are likely to emphasise happy family scenes which, if you are newly single, may leave you feeling a little
There are many positive and therapeutic solitary activities you can get
involved in around the house. These include doing some much-needed cleaning or decorating and sorting out your possessions.
It will help you feel you are doing something positive w ith your time.
While you are sending cards, take the time to re-establish contact with
old friends you haven't seen for a long time; perhaps go through old letters and address books. This can generate new social
opportunities for the months ahead.
You can organise festive outings for yourself alone, or with a friend -
for example, going to a Christmas carol concert, midnight Mass or a pantomime or taking an evening stroll to see Christmas
lights, followed by punch and nibbles at home. Visit your local church, community centre or library for details of Christmas
Consider doing some volunteer work as it can be very gratifying helping
others, particularly if you are feeling a bit low yourself.
Remember - despite the build-up and hype, Christmas only lasts for a few
days. Use the opportunity to recharge your batteries, ready for whatever the coming months may bring.