This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please read my disclosure for more details(Last Updated On: February 18, 2019)
I have been living alone abroad for over two years. This will be my third Christmas abroad. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, around the holidays, I always feel a rush of loneliness and sadness because I’m not surrounded by family at the end of the year.
This article is going to discuss ways I cope with spending Christmas alone!
1. Try not to focus on the negative aspects of being alone
I hate the feeling of loneliness but it’s always there – especially around the holidays when all my friends are back home celebrating with family.
Instead of sulking and hating my life, I try to not focus on the negative aspects of being alone. Rather, I look on the bright side.
Sure, I might be living alone and have no one to celebrate Christmas with, but I do have the life that I dreamt of. I dreamt of living abroad since I was a teenager and now I have everything I wanted and more. And that’s already a reason to celebrate!
2. Meet other expats or lonely people
You’re not the only one. There’s always another expat or two around who feels exactly the same as you.
Luckily for me, I’m a student so I can easily meet other students (or exchange students) who have no plans for the holidays.
Thanks to the magic of the Internet, it’s super easy to meet up with people. Post something in a Facebook group. Go on Meetup.com. There is always something going on.
And trust me, reaching out to someone who is equally as lonely as you are will help you guys bond instantly!
3. See if you can get invited to someone else’s holiday celebrations
In my first year living abroad, my Swiss friend invited me to celebrate Christmas with her and her family. She was actually someone I met while I was travelling in Switzerland (way before I moved here), and we kept in touch.
I went to celebrate with her and did a lot of traditional Swiss activities. This year, she is spending Christmas in Thailand so I won’t be able to celebrate with her.
You never know. Most people are pretty nice and some may even invite you over for Christmas if they knew you had no other plans!
4. Spend time doing your favourite activities alone
Usually my days are so busy, I don’t have time to do much besides studying and working.
So, the holidays are a great way to unwind and spend time doing the activities that I love but don’t have enough time for!
I know lots of people actually complain that they never get time alone. So actually take advantage of it and be GRATEFUL that you have some alone time to yourself!
The holidays are all about self-care, self-love, and relaxation.
I find the end of the year overwhelming because there is so much going on. Everyone is frantically running around trying to do their Christmas shopping and finish off the tasks that need to be done before the year end.
I’m usually so exhausted by mid-December that as soon as the holidays hit, I literally spend a few days just relaxing and sleeping until noon. It’s a great feeling!
Catch up on sleep while you can! And do whatever you need to help yourself feel revived and rested up for the new year!
Once the new year starts again, it’s going to be non-stop running around all over again!
6. Set new goals for the new year
I’m all about goal-setting and the end of the year is the best time to reflect on the year and set goals for the following year.
Read more about how to set and achieve your goals!
7. Skype or call friends and family
Just because you’re far away from friends and family, doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with them. Call them by phone or Skype and enjoy the time you spend catching up!
I’ve gotten so used to texting and emailing that I barely actually voice or video call anyone anymore. On the occasion that I do, it feels very special!
Sadly, this Christmas I will be spending it studying since I am a full-time student.
In Switzerland we have a strange schedule and our exams are in January.
So yes, I’ll be spending most of the holidays studying! Good grief!
Even if you’re not obliged to study, you can always read up on cool topics that you want to learn more about! If I had the time, I would totally spend more time learning about programming, investing, etc.
9. Travel alone
Lastly, if all else fails, go travel.
I’m a huge travel nut. Last Christmas, I spent it in Thailand and met up with a French girl. We celebrated with a lovely day visiting the Ayutthaya temples by bike.
Who knows. If I get too bored I *just might* buy a cheap last-minute ticket somewhere and take some time off for myself.
Travelling alone is amazing and I learned so much about myself through the process. It was something that really took me out of my comfort zone (even more so than moving abroad alone).
So who knows, maybe I’ll end up travelling alone a bit this Christmas!
I have been feeling a bit down and lonely because of the holiday season and not having any solid plans besides studying. These are some of the activities I have planned to take my mind off the dreaded loneliness of Christmas.
What are your plans for Christmas?
Other posts you may like
- How To Move Abroad And Make Friends As An Adult
- The Complete List of Essential Things You Must Do Before You Move Abroad
- 10 Surprising Things That Happened When I Moved Abroad to Switzerland
- 6 Things I Miss About Home After Living Abroad As An Expat
- How To Find A Job While Living Abroad
- List of Positive Affirmations To Say Everyday
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