Lonely Over the Holidays: Survival Guide

Important | 2016-12-16

62 percent of Lithuanians older than 55 live alone, and 32 percent of home units in Lithuania consist of one person. Although being alone doesn’t mean being lonely, and loneliness itself has many shades and reasons, being lonely, especially in holiday season, may be upsetting for some people.

“The contrast principle may be in play here: we see friends, colleagues, classmates and neighbours buying presents, planning festive meals and wardrobe, and, if we are lonely, emptiness may creep in”, says Rosita Lekavičienė, professor at Kaunas University of Technology Department of Philosophy and Psychology.

According to her, the topic of being lonely during holiday season is being discussed year after year. That means that it is of utmost importance in Western society, which itself is becoming more and more individualistic.

The psychologist stresses that being alone is rarely a choice, but rather a situation, caused by life events. However, she urges not to overthink the reasons for feeling lonely during that period: there will be plenty of time to do this on other times.

“There is a good rule applicable to all situations: we are being influenced not by the facts itself, but by their interpretations. Our attitude towards the holidays is the result of our thinking. If we think that holidays are horrible and hate them, the holiday season will be dark and dull. But we can create another narrative: we can think that this lonely holiday season provides us a chance to take better care of ourselves, to become a Santa Claus to ourselves, and to try to change the situation in the next year”, says Lekavičienė.

For those who happen to be alone on winter holidays the psychologist has some advice.


  • Don’t play sad music as it will deepen your sorrow
  • Don’t look through the photos of happy times as this will sharpen the contrast
  • Don’t over surf the social media, as it will be full of festive pictures
  • Don’t analyse the reasons of your loneliness over Christmas or on the New year day
  • Don’t think you are the only one alone over this Holiday. Only in Britain there are 4 million lonely people over holidays


  • Call your friends and relatives, invite them to your house – people are happy to join in when there’s a festivity being organised. If you’re from another country and don’t have your close people next to you, chat on skype, keep in touch
  • Make yourself a delicious meal, leave yourself a present under the Christmas tree
  • Take a flask of a hot drink and go out to the Christmas Tree at the city square, join the crowd
  • Buy a present for someone you know – make an effort to think about that person, create a meaningful ritual out of this
  • Join the charity, for example free soup initiative by Maltese or visiting orphanages or houses for elderly people
  • Go to another city, experience holiday mood in a small town community

Below is the list of events, which you can join during holiday season. There are many more concerts, free events and gatherings in Kaunas and Vilnius. Have great winter holidays!