Alone for the holidays? Here’s how to cultivate joy and stay connected

With travel and large gatherings restricted, the holiday season will undoubtedly look very different this year. Some people may be spending the holiday season alone for the first time in their lives, but we can still stay connected to people and traditions even when we’re physically apart. Here are five ways to celebrate the holidays if you can’t be with your friends or family. 

  1. Make family recipes. There are few things that bring us as much comfort as home cooking. Choose a couple of your family favorites or holiday classics to whip up to warm your belly and your soul. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even put together a digital family recipe book to send out so everyone can enjoy some comfort food. 
  2. Put together care packages. Sending out care packages to those you love can feel almost as good as receiving one. Think about others who may be spending the holiday season solo and send them a box of treats like cookies, festive candles, and a list of holiday movie recommendations. 
  3. Plan a video chat. Organize a video chat with family and friends to share a distanced meal, cook together, or simply acknowledge what you’re grateful for this holiday season. 
  4. Deliver food to your community. Want to make a family recipe, but worried about having way too many leftovers? Wrap up homemade goodies and bring them to neighbors or friends to share the deliciousness. Many shelters and food banks are also facing increased demand this year and would love non-perishable donations.
  5. Visit a place of nostalgia. This could be a Christmas tree farm, your family’s favorite beach, or just your local coffee shop for some hot chocolate. Plan a visit to whatever destination spurs your holiday spirit. 

‘Tis the season of sugar cookies, but there’s no sugar-coating that spending the holidays away from family can be lonely. Try to focus on the positives and make time for activities that will help you feel connected, grateful, and joyous.

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