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Holiday for one? How to make the most of a solo celebration


The holidays are about creating memories—even when you’re celebrating alone. Make the best of the season by finding meaningful ways to fill your winter days with delight.

10 ways to make merry

If you’re solo this season, here are some fun ways to enjoy—and spread—some holiday cheer:

  1. Give yourself a daily dose of joy. Write down activities that bring you the most joy and take time each day to do something from your list. This could be as simple as listening to holiday music, re-reading a favorite book or going for a long winter walk.
  2. Explore your spiritual side. Whatever spirituality means to you, look for meaningful ways to express it. That might be attending a religious service, spending time in nature or just reflecting on your life.
  3. Shop for a stranger. Make holiday shopping more meaningful by buying a gift for a child in need or donating to a food drive.
  4. Plan a seasonal treat. Take a quick getaway to your favorite vacation spot. Sign up for that bread-baking class you’ve been eyeing. Or buy tickets to a special concert.
  5. Give your exercise routine a festive twist. Boost your mood and break up monotony by signing up for a holiday fun run. Reindeer antlers optional.
  6. Indulge in a healthy holiday feast. Dining alone means you can cook and eat exactly what you want for the holidays. Browse our healthy recipe ideas.
  7. Check out the sights. Make a trip to your city’s holiday market, drive through neighborhoods with festive decorations, browse holiday window displays, or check out fairs and other events.
  8. Play outdoors. Getting some sunshine, especially early in the day, can help lift the winter blues. Take a walk or head out for a morning of ice skating, skiing or snowshoeing. If you like photography, try your talent at capturing winter light.
  9. Remember loved ones. If you’ve lost a loved one, it’s normal for holidays to trigger some tough emotions. It may help to write down what you’re feeling, along with some favorite memories. It may also be comforting to keep up a tradition you had together. Or you could start a new one in your loved one’s memory, like making a picture book of past holidays together or contributing to a cause they cared about.
  10. Make a gratitude list. Focus on the positive by making a list of things you’re grateful for this holiday season. It might be your health, a pet, your home or your community.

Work-party playbook

Here are eight ways to navigate the holiday buffet without sabotaging your healthy habits.