The Daily Brit Media

Millions of people are having to discard their Christmas plans and think again. We asked two Priory mental health experts what advice they would give to anyone finding themselves alone on Christmas Day. Here’s what they say:

Plan it

Priory consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul McLaren, of Priory’s Wellbeing Centre in Harley Street, central London, and Priory’s Hayes Grove Hospital in Kent, says: “Planning is key. If you had plans to spend Christmas with family or friends, plan ahead for remote contact. Best to timetable rather than say ‘I’ll call you on Christmas Day’. We all know that remote communication is technically easy, but it’s the organisational and emotional barriers that can get in the way. If you know of others in your circle who may also be spending Christmas solo, reach out and ask if they would like to spend time with you remotely.

“Organise your day in advance so to have a good idea as to what you will do when. It’s still a holiday so you don’t have to pin things down to the minute, but it will help your mood if you have a schedule with a time to get up, meal times, and don’t forget to schedule in some active relaxation or aerobic exercise. Plan to pamper yourself. If there are treats which work for you, then get them organised. Be wary of alcohol though. Alcohol lubricates social events but if you are on your own, and missing contact, then it could bring you down.”