Clinical Psychologist Joslina Sehoana says being away from family and friends during this time can make people “depressed and this can affect their self-esteem”.“Some people can develop eating disorders during this time because they are lonely and all they have is food or alcohol. But don’t be afraid to call people and find out how they can include you in their plans or use the below suggestions to stay busy.”

1. Pamper yourself

If you’ve been working hard during the year take some time out and treat yourself to a massage at a spa. Enjoy the whole day at the spa, order breakfast and lunch and relax in the Jacuzzi or the pool. While you’re there, take a book, kick back and listen to some of your fave tunes.

2. Plan an outing

If your budget allows, take a few days off and get away. Go to a hotel with a swimming pool or near the ocean. But make sure you’re safe because criminals tend to be on the lookout for people travelling alone during the holiday.

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3. Hit the gym

While some of us might be putting on a few kilos over Christmas lunches and parties and overindulging in alcohol, you can spend some time at the gym. You’ll be working out and meeting new people who might also be alone.

4. Movie night

If you like going to the cinema, then set a movie date. But if you prefer watching movies at home, arrange movie night with yourself. Get some popcorn and your fave treats and binge on your favourite flicks.

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5. Start a new project

Setting a New Year’s resolution can sometimes be fun and challenging. Write down all the goals you have for the New Year and start working on them during the holidays. Keep a journal of your goals and check back as you go along.

6. Work on the garden

If you love nature, spend time working in the garden if you have one. If you don’t have a garden, visit your nearest nursery and make a small indoor garden. Plant a few of your favourite herbs and spices, such as lavender, basil, coriander and even chives. This will keep you busy for the rest of the festive season, as you might have to check up on the pot plants every day to make sure they’re getting enough sun and water.

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7 Redecorate your space

Springcleaning is a good time killer. Use this time to re-arrange your home or to redecorate it.

8. Do something you enjoyed as a child

Some people are so busy that they don’t even have time to do some of the things they used to enjoy as children, like playing on the swings at the nearest park, painting a portrait, reading a book or baking. Use the holidays to remind yourself that you’re still young at heart by rolling back the years.

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9. Volunteer your time

Giving back is always a good way of making one feel good. Whether you volunteer your time, money, gifts or buying groceries for a family, giving is always a good thing. There are many ways of giving back: you can go to a children’s home or an old-age home and volunteer to make Christmas lunch. Or volunteer to help at a hospital or clinic. You can also make food parcels to give to the homeless during the festive season and make holiday cards for each parcel.

10. Get yourself a gift

Buy yourself something you’ve always wanted but couldn’t necessarily afford, wrap it and put it under the Christmas tree and open it on Christmas morning.