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Christmas on your own

Ideas for getting into the festive spirit and keeping healthy if you're on your own over Christmas.

If you're on your own over the Christmas break, there's plenty you can do to get into the festive cheer.

With these tips from Mind and a bit of planning, a solo Christmas can be a holiday to enjoy rather than endure.

Keep busy this Christmas

The Christmas season seems to begin earlier every year, but it doesn't have to take over every aspect of your life. Think about what you most enjoy doing, whether it's reading, country walks, going to the cinema or playing the piano. And make time to do it. You could also do new activities that you'd like to try.

Be a volunteer

Many charities and organisations need help at Christmas. If you have spare time, you could spend a few hours working as a volunteer. For information on local volunteering opportunities, visit Do-it.

Do-it lists volunteer positions within 5km of your postcode. Alternatively, ask at your local library or look for adverts in the local paper.

Get your heart pumping

Physical exercise has been proved to reduce stress and enhance your mood. Find something that works for you, whether it's going to the gym, swimming or wrapping up warm and going outside for some fresh air. Just getting off the sofa and going outdoors should make you feel better. The Ramblers and the National Trust hold winter-themed activities. 

Eat and drink well

Traditional Christmas food and drink can often be excessive and make you feel lethargic. Healthy eating with plenty of fruit and vegetables can give you more energy and improve your general wellbeing. For advice on healthy eating and adding more fruit and vegetables into your diet, see our Healthy eating section.

Find a listening ear

Christmas is a good time to be sociable, but if you're feeling lonely and your friends are occupied with their families, it can help to speak to someone completely removed from your situation. Some organisations, such as Mind or the Samaritans have befriending services and offer confidential support over the phone.

Article provided by NHS Choices

See original on NHS Choices