Holiday Loneliness: Why It Occurs And Tips To Cope With It

Holiday Loneliness: Why It Occurs And Tips To Cope With It

As the holiday season unfolds, many envision joyous gatherings, festive cheer, and the warmth of shared moments with loved ones. However, for some, this time of year can evoke feelings of loneliness and isolation, negatively impacting mental health. Holiday loneliness is a nuanced and prevalent phenomenon that affects individuals for various reasons.

We’ll explore why holiday loneliness occurs, its potential triggers, and offer practical tips to cope with and alleviate these sentiments during what should be a season of connection and merriment.

Causes of Holiday Loneliness

As its name suggests, holiday loneliness is a poignant emotional experience characterised by a sense of isolation and solitude during the festive season. It often emerges when an individual’s expectations of joyous social gatherings and connections with loved ones are unmet. This situation can be triggered by various factors:

1. Social expectations

The holiday season often comes with societal expectations of joyful family reunions and social togetherness. When reality doesn’t align with these expectations, individuals may feel a sense of isolation, intensifying their loneliness.

2. Comparisons and social media

The pervasive nature of social media can amplify feelings of loneliness during the holidays. Seeing curated glimpses of others’ seemingly perfect celebrations on Instagram, TikTok, or other social media platforms may foster comparisons, leaving individuals feeling left out or inadequate.

3. Loss and grief

For those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays can magnify feelings of grief. Traditions and celebrations may serve as painful reminders of those who are no longer present.

4. Geographical separation

This particularly affects those who are residing in other countries for work, school, or other reasons. Physical distance away from family and friends can lead to isolation during the holidays, which occurs when people are unable to reunite with their loved ones due to challenges in travelling and scheduling conflicts, to name a few.

Ways to Cope with Holiday Loneliness

1. Acknowledge your feelings

It’s essential to recognise and accept your emotions. Denying or suppressing feelings of loneliness can exacerbate the situation. Instead, acknowledge what you’re experiencing and allow yourself the space to process these emotions.

2. Reframe expectations

Challenge societal expectations and redefine what a meaningful holiday looks like for you. It’s okay if your celebrations don’t align with traditional norms. As long as you get to take part in an activity that brings you joy, such as indulging in a favourite hobby or volunteering in your community, you have a jolly Christmas that’ll be unforgettable.

3. Practice self-care

If you are not attending any Christmas party or gathering, take this opportunity to prioritise self-care. Engage in activities that nourish your well-being, whether it’s taking a nature walk, enjoying a warm bath, or simply journaling and looking back at the past year. Self-compassion is the secret to navigating holiday loneliness and promoting happiness.

4. Seek support

Don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you’re grappling with loneliness and need to connect with someone. Humans are naturally social animals, so we have to verbalise our emotions every now and then. Share your feelings with friends, family, or a professional counsellor in Singapore, or attend a family therapy session, and you’ll find that the feeling of burden will be alleviated.


The holiday season can be tough but fear not! There’s a world of resources and support systems waiting to help you redefine the holidays on your terms.

One of these support systems is A Space Between, where we provide a range of rooms that serve as a supportive and non-judgmental space for you to freely express your thoughts and emotions, fostering a sense of connection with your therapist. Through meaningful conversations and personalised coping strategies, therapy can empower you to understand the roots of your loneliness and develop practical tools to navigate such feelings.

Where private practice meets
A Space Between provides flexible co-working office spaces for rent to therapists and other professionals in Singapore.
A Space Between is a destination for mental health therapy activities. Counsellors utilise our many conducive therapy rooms for consultations. Located conveniently downtown and offering your independent therapists rent by the hour, we house many professional mental health practitioners, including LGBTQ+ friendly ones. To find out more about the therapists practising in A Space Between, write to us at [email protected].
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