How to Healthfully Spend the Holidays Alone w/ therapist Kati Morton

Now I know you want to lock yourself away in your apartment or your house. You want to shut the.

Now I know you want to lock yourself away in your apartment or your house. You want to shut the blinds you want to binge watch Netflix. Why is binge watch Netflix so hard to say? Hey everybody, today we’re going to talk about how to healthfully spend the holidays alone. The first thing I think is important is to take time to figure out what is important to you. What are things that you like about the holiday season? When we’re spending it alone we often decide to do nothing. And we don’t want to talk to anybody and we just want to stay home alone and we don’t want to interact. But I would encourage you right now to start writing down the traditions that you enjoy, the things that you like about getting together with family. I know family may not be healthy for you to go to and to actually see. But how can we recreate that for you now, because I know even if I don’t go home to Washington to see my family, there are certain things that I still make Sean do and there’s certain foods that I still cook because those are parts of the holiday experience for me. And that helps me better manage the fact that i wasn’t able to go home and be with my family. And so I think it’s important for us each to take time to decide: What do we love about holidays? What traditions are important? or What new ones do we want to start now? Now I know you want to stay at home alone and often when we’re not spending time with the family or if the the thought of the holidays just brings up all that old shit with family and we just kind of want to shut our selves away. Shut the blinds and want to binge watch Netflix and we don’t want to interact with anyone. But I would encourage you to please keep busy and socialize, because really what isolating ourselves and shutting those blinds and watching Netflix does is it just hurts us, makes us feel worse. If we’re feeling in depressive symptoms right now, it’s gonna make those so much worse than they were before. So please, please, please call those friends, send out some texts, start setting up things to do. If you really like to get coffee with a girlfriend make sure that you make time for that. Make time for the things that are important and please keep busy and socialize. Oh and if you don’t have any friends that live near you there’s chat on the website i would encourage you to at least interact with people online because then you won’t feel so alone. And knowing the other people are struggling with the holidays can feel so good just to normalize what we’re going through. My third tip is: give back; volunteer, there are so many ways to help out during the holidays. Whether it’s giving out blankets to the homeless or going to a soup kitchen and you know serving breakfast. I used to do this stuff all the time with friends and at work, because I used to work on Saturdays and many of the treatment centers and hospitals I worked at and so on Saturdays we would take all of the people that were willing and able to go out and volunteer. And I find often when I’m doing something to help someone else I get more out of it. I honestly feel that way, like I get just as much out of it as they do when I’m serving them food or handing out blankets are doing any of those things just to help out, even helping a neighbor maybe they can’t mow their lawn or they you know struggle to bring their trash can in, you can offer to help and that often helps us feel so much better. My fourth tip is: plan something fun. Is there something you’ve been wanting to do that you’ve just been putting off or maybe it’s too busy to go in the summertime, now would be a perfect time to go. It could be a trip it could be just something local that you’ve never done or maybe it’s just giving yourself some you know are some relaxation and rest that’s what I want make sure you plan that in and make time for it. And my fifth tip is: spending time each day writing down the things that you’re thankful for. Or wonderful things that you’re grateful for that happened that day. This is something that I’ve been practicing because I find at night when we lay in bed we often think about all the things we have to do, or didn’t do, or that things that went wrong, or this old conversation we had with somebody 10 years ago and we don’t know why it went so bad, or why we were such an asshole back, Stop that cycle. Stop your brain from doing it. And I find that by just running through things in your head that you’re grateful for things that went well that day. Hey I woke up, I was able to shower, I had that favorite sandwich that I like from the deli, whatever it is you are grateful for and thankful for spend time right before you go to bed writing them down. We also find writing things out where you can see it and you can read it helps our brain better acknowledge it, and it like absorbs it that. That’s how I’ve always like visualized it. There’s a whole research study about it but actually taking the time to write it out like pen and paper old-school style, not on the phone or the computer really helps us take in the thankful things and take in all the gratitude that we can have for each passing day. And the sixth and final tip and it kind of roles from number five is: paying attention to what conversations we’re having with ourselves are we sitting at home, isolating, thinking shitty things about ourselves and what’s happened in our family and our relationships? Are we reliving old fights? Stop yourself from doing that, make sure that you notice what conversation you’re having with yourself. And if you find it taking a negative turn, I would encourage you just like we talked back to the eating disorder voice, the self-harm voice talk back to that nasty like Grinch like voice that’s hanging in your head telling you about all the shitty things. Instead try to feed it positive things. Things that have gone well, maybe a friendship that has started this year that’s been so beneficial to you. Maybe it’s that volunteer thing you did the other day and so you feel really good about the person that you interacted with you really felt like you made an impact. And if you have trouble with this, something that helps me is just putting positive vibes out there; opening a door for someone, saying thank you, paying for someone’s coffee in line, if you’re in the drive-thru it’s even better because you kind of drive away thinking ooh I left a special treat for them, whatever it is that you can do maybe paying someone’s parking meter. I’ve done that too and that can make you feel really good even any of those little things to help boost and start the positive conversation can help because I know the holidays can be hard and they’re harder when were alone but know that you are not alone with this and we have a whole community of support like I said you can hop on the website and chat 24-7 and get support from other Kinions that maybe are alone for the holidays or are just struggling with the holidays all together and I hope these are helpful even the comments things that were helpful for you things that help you feel more positive during this difficult time. And know that you’re never alone, you’re part of our community and we’re all thinking about you, sending you love and warm wishes this holiday season.

83 thoughts on “How to Healthfully Spend the Holidays Alone w/ therapist Kati Morton”

  1. Christmas isn't the same this year. My brother just passed away in June of this year and I moved to another state earlier this year. I love my family but it's too much for me go visit. I do have friends here with me. That I'm thankful for.

  2. Kati I love this video! One question, so I write everything down on pen and paper but then I never want to look at it again no matter what it is whether it is good or bad… do have any tips?

  3. Unfortunately I am one of those who do not celebrate any party in the whole year and I am always alone. . . But I liked the idea of ​​chat it sounds good thanks for the advices ..

  4. Awesome video Kati, very helpful.
    I will be spending Christmas with my family but I have been thinking of a lot of negative things lately and I need to work on thinking positive again.

  5. so… what is healthy rest & relaxation at home? how is it different from, you know, depressedly wasting time at home doing things like binge-watching?

  6. Kati, I haven't even watched the video yet (will right after this!) but have read the description in full and just wanted to commend you for making this video for all out here in YTland who may be facing parts or all of their holiday season alone for whatever reason. I completely empathize and just was thinking to myself last night as I was driving home that so many people probably do feel a sense of isolation or feelings of aloneness during this time of the year and yet the reality is just that: So many likely feel this which, in and of itself, proves that we are NOT alone, in that this is SO not uncommon that feel this way! (I hope that makes sense…truly!) Anyhow, I just want to give you a big cyber high-5 and hug too, for making this video as it couldn't be anymore timelier and helpful as we navigate these days ahead! ❤️✌️

  7. I wish I could spend the holidays alone. my family isn't the best to be around during the holidays. I usually hang out on the chat — it's nice to feel so welcome on there. thank you Kati! enjoy your vacation!!

  8. I don't want to be alone, but my husband is dead, my sister is dead, my parents are dead, I have no children and I'm down to my last cat, so that's who I'll spend time with on this one rare day that I don't have to go out anywhere or deal with anyone. One precious day of peace and quiet. Is that too much to ask?

  9. Wow, that's great video. That's exactly what I needed. Thank you!!
    That helps me to keep working during holiday season, instead of having too much time.

  10. The sheer magnitude of Christmas is ridiculous. Totally. The pressure we're under to have a fantastic time in your fab life with your completely amazing family who love and laugh all day long. The reality is mental health doesn't 'take a break', be lovely if it did, just took 2 weeks off….
    Let's face it. It involves EVERYTHING we hate in life combined. Multiplied by a million. Please don't buy in to it. Don't allow it to overwhelm you. The majority of us hate it. Breathe. This time next week we're on the home stretch.
    Then it's time for the New Year's excuses 😂
    Ex's and oh's.

  11. How am I suppose to socialize if I have no one to socialize with? Whats wrong with just being alone and watching netflix or YouTube, its the most comfortable thing for me. I'm a grad student away from home and I literally have no one to talk to.

  12. this was awsome love this . I am gonna ask my question here coz I could not get it answered on live stream and I ain't on patreon . so my question is how can my sister help me with violent ied outbursts other than restraining me prns and sedation and meds. as this is normally traumatic . I have tried therapy and stuff and the only thing that works is meds behavior techniques and routine .help this was awsome your amazing . your right about the website it is amazing .

  13. I feel like the past few videos have been for me lol. Hopefully I'll actually do some of the things you suggest but I doubt it tbh

  14. What are some resources for people who can't afford a therapist? I feel like I desperately need one, but am currently unemployed.

  15. Kati, I wanted to reply to your snap story.. I love that you put a lot of effort into your description box. I watch your videos and follow along with the list there and I love how organized it is. It's hard for me to follow videos personally.. Like when I have to write papers about them for school I'm constantly pausing to take notes because I can't do both at once. I think based on the type of learner I am it's helpful that you have both a video and a written description of your topic. Thank you for all you do for us and happy holidays to you and Sean! 🙂

  16. Couldn't stay till the end of the live stream yesterday (it was too late and I had school the next day), some book recommendations:
    Pretty baby, four friends, black box, furiously happy, can you keep a secret

  17. This video is so helpful thank you so much!!😃 already relapsed after 2 days at home with family, so spending the holidays alone and this has so many good ideas- especially the volunteering!:) happy holidays!

  18. hi kati, thanks for this
    at this stage I think it's better to be alone than to be with people who will make you feel alone.

  19. Thank you for these holiday videos, I've recently moved away from home and I never realised how complicated holidays are! I'm spending Christmas alone and it's difficult. But at the same time, I'm happy that I'll be able to create my own, healthy holiday traditions now. I didn't have that at home.

  20. Hai Kati,
    I'm stressed and depressed. I have finals this week in two days. I can't focus and basketball isn't fun anymore. I feel so closed off and not myself, I don't go to therapy until January. Do you have any tips?

  21. #katifaq Hello I love your youtube channel. I'm grateful for what you do. My question is what is the difference between CBT and REBT? Thanks.

  22. Ever since my dad died, holidays have changed. Then to add to it, we up rooted and moved 1,500 miles from where I was born and raised. Holidays seems to be like just another day. Everyone is scattered and I feel such a sense of loss. And then my birthday is always within a few days of thanksgiving, so no one is ever around or available. Most people actually forget my birthday, even family. I hate the holidays. I force myself to go be with family, but I just rather not do a damn thing when I am there. I've tried so many of your suggestions and it just sucks and doesn't work! I honestly think a lot of it has to do with how many holidays my dad has missed since the divorce and his death, then my mom not really caring about holidays. I have never grieved his death so it all just sucks ass…

  23. I loved this video, thanks Kati for all your great work & advice 🙂

    I have an odd holiday situation this year. I live in a different country from my family so I'm used to not spending it with them.. It's still hard but we always make time to Skype on Christmas day.

    Alas my closest friends are all going home to their families this Christmas! We usually do something together on Christmas day but this year it'll just be me & my partner. No family, no friends.. My Depression & negative self talk have been hugely increased by the feeling of loneliness & isolation.

    I know I'm not completely alone but I'm used to being around at least a few people during the holidays..

    My point was to answer your Question – I find making myself get outside for a walk every day (no matter what weather) has become very helpful. It makes me mindful of my surroundings & nature.. & I'll always see something new or interesting, like a cute dog getting walked or just smiling at a fellow walker – it helps so much to connect with others, even in the smallest way – a smile from afar.
    I also try to go to my local coffee shop, talk with the staff & take a book with me.
    It's the most relaxing thing for me to do but I rarely give myself time to do it. I've made more time this month.

    I really took in your idea of physically writing a gratitude journal – I've stopped doing that completely & I used to find it really great.

    I think planning some fun things would help me too – I'm great at just letting empty weeks slip by & just watching movies (which is great for a bit but I hate feeling stuck indoors for too long)

    I also love the simple act of sending mail – Christmas cards, postcards – anything to give someone else a smile 🙂

    I think I want to push myself to do some form of volunteering but my anxiety always stops me from taking it past the research stage.. Maybe I just haven't found the right opportunity yet.

    Thanks again for the video 🙂

  24. I want to explain first that the year end holiday doesn't hold the same cultural and religious value to me as I am not christian, nor living in western countries. to me, it is just a break from work and school. Ever since the start of my break, ever since I am free from work, I have been fantasizing about rewarding myself with a crazy self harm session. I am able to control myself from actually carrying it out, but I am confused about this feeling. Please someone help me.

  25. I'm sure it's probably a bit too close to Christmas for you to film a vid now, but I was wondering if you could talk about approaching the holidays with grief? Like having lost an immediate family member, and the weird shit that entails each year when the holidays (especially Christmas, which is so family centred) come around.

  26. Kati- how do I take a break from therapy during the holidays and then request support? I told my therapist that December was busy and I didn't know when I'd like to meet and I haven't heard from her. Now I feel awkward seeking support for after the holidays! Any tips?!

  27. Seeing your videos makes me feel less lonely. And it's cool right…there is 0% chance of you ever being my therapist or ever meeting you in person as a "non-client" in some social or professional setting, so you can never reject me or shrug me off by asking me "to maintain boundaries"….so it's not a "sin" or "haraam" to feel emotionally / visually attached to seeing your face in videos and hearing your voice [ feels very familial].

    so it's okay if i feel good hearing your voice or seeing you talk.

  28. I'm going up north to spend Christmas with my family. I'd rather not because with my depression, I have to force myself to be social and act like I'm having fun. Whenever I'm socializing, I get worn out and just want to seclude myself and have some time to myself. How can I do this and relax by myself without seeming rude or like something is wrong? I love my family but they're so high energy and it lasts into late at night and I just get worn out. Are there any tips I can do to calm my anxiety and still have some alone time?

  29. They have a Christmas party with turkey and presents at the assisted living center where I live. It's a real life saver for a lot of us. Many of the people here don't have family that supports them. I have family, but they live too far away to come for Christmas. That Christmas party is a real life saver for me.

  30. #KATIFAQ
    Hi Kati!
    I'm 18 years old and I've really come to a point in my life were I really, really don't know what to do anymore. So I've been seeing a therapist for about 2 years right know. At some point I was doing so bad that I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for 4 months. After I went back home from the hospital I went back to my therapist. But even after being admitted to the hospital I still wasn't feeling any better and it even got worse. The only thing that I was dying to know, was what the hell was going on with me? Because in the hospital they didn't (want to?) diagnose me, though that was my request when I got in. I just really wanted to know what has been going on with me for the past years. I've done everything I can to get better, what else is left to do? Should I get readmitted to another hospital, should I find a new therapist who will give me an answer to my question? I've been doing a lot of research myself (which I don't think is a good thing) and I think, that maybe it could be something like a bipolar disorder.. What do you think I should do ? I'm really desperate. I feel like nobody wants to help me out, even though I'm reaching out for help.

  31. I have a question.
    Recently I've been feeling like I've lost a lot of control in my life (for no specific reason), so to gain control I stopped eating. I barely eat anything, but I don't restrict because I want to lose weight, I am only restricting because I want control. Is this considered an ED?

  32. there were probably live shows going on i was with family all day on christmas so i didnt check i know new years eve last year there was one and probably this year so i will be doing that

    thx for this ha bisky vid you are never alone with the internet and i usually want to be alone on the holidays this year and last year i got lots of presents and it was fun being around my cousins

  33. shay did that pay for the car behind him and there was another car and he said i want to pay for both of the cars and it was hilarious after seeing the bill though he was like well this is what the total is and he was like more expensive then i thought but it was a nice thing to do (he just showed the total nothing else)

  34. You can create your own traditions too, like making yourself a filet mignon or something fancy you normally wouldn't treat yourself to.

  35. You're an angel and I now understand that thing were patients fall in love with their shrink! Regardless thank you for the videos they are a great help. 🙂

  36. Spending time on the holidays home alone with my precious cat, is not such a bad thing! And it doesn't bother me if I am not constantly surrounded by people on the holidays!! Especially with the toxic relatives whom I always feel miserable around, whenever there is a family dinner!!! I would rather just spend my holidays with a few close friends or on my own!!! Sometimes I volunteer for community holiday dinners(soup kitchens), homeless shelters, visiting hospitals and nursing homes and just giving back to the community!!!!

  37. Thank you for REAL coping techniques for holidays! Other videos show sad ways of dealing with it with binge Netflix and eating. Watching this made me realize one BIG thing that brings me down…holidays are time of reflection. If had bad childhood, or bad relationships it dig up ALL those memories. I like the gratitude idea, in dealing with reflection, I might make a list of good things that happened this year (a LOT of loss happen this year and now it's all I my reflecting on).

  38. This is all well and good if you live in civilisation, but if you don’t and you are stuck in remote Australia then these things are totally completely irrelevant to someone like myself

  39. perfect time to just focus on making money. then buying yourself lots of things on your designated christmas….which is whenever….or your designated thanksgiving….every Saturday. lol.

  40. For all the new years loners at there, i want you to know that you're not alone by being alone at new years eve ! We're alone together 🙂

  41. This will be my first holiday alone and I’m not sure if I should turn off my phone and shut out the world for that day or leave it on and lie about where I am. I’ll likely be volunteering then studying all day and eating some yummy food I prepare ☺️

  42. These are all lovely suggestions but how do you do all these things if they trigger tears. The last thing I want to do is socialize if I'm going to be a downer and ruin everyone else's time. Nice suggestions but not very realistic for everyone. Sometimes it is just easier to keep busy and forget the holidays. Not everyone is blessed with family and friends who care.

  43. What if you don’t have family and friends to come over and exchange gifts anymore? Everyone’s either moved away, dead or don’t have money.

  44. But Merideth, it feels so cozy and safe : ) Is it okay if I’m enjoying being in my pajamas today? One day of isolating?Too lazy to go out?

  45. Reading some of these comments will make you see its not all that bad being alone. You could be going through a Separation or divorce. Death in the family .Hate your family or you can`t afford to be where others are .You could be sick and can`t visit the ones you love.(me) You could have a date with this lady therapist ,that can`t afford real blinds .Hehe So we all have our issues and some times the ocean is calm and sometimes the ocean is rough.You have to stay on the boat for the whole journey. Keep your life busy.Help someone who is less fortunate. Go sing at a rest home. Rent a Santa clause outfit and give away candy canes. Be there for someone who is also alone. Make that first move to patch up a bad relationship. Or just do some good the way you feel it would help. Cheers.Hope you all have a merry Christmas

  46. My family are dead… I'm a 56yr old male.. Never had kids.. women don't want me.. My best friend since childhood died 8 yrs ago. I spend all my time alone.. I'm always depressed. I have no friends.. I have nobody to talk to .. I have nobody. Nobody likes me.. women think I'm ugly and do not want men that have depression. The longer I go alone the worse it gets. I have health issues.. hearing loss.. sciatic nerve pain.. I walk with a limp. I might as well be dead. I don't go anywhere because I do NOT like doing things alone. Nothing.. not even going to a movie is fun.. nothing is fun alone. I have NO interest in doing things alone. Nobody understands and nobody cares.

  47. I can't do that. I'm stuck at this house with no car, my family is away, if I order anything, it won't arrive on time.. So I am stuck here not knowing what to do

  48. Everytime I spend my holidays alone in my room, I become afraid of the world outside, even if I spent months going out there, I don't know, I mean, I'm sick of isolating myself but doing something else scares me or annoys me

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