Don’t sext your ex… and five other ways to survive an isolation Christmas

·3-min read
 (Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash)
(Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash)

Even the mass cancelation of Silly Season — no illicit Christmas party snogs, no shouted karaoke — wasn’t enough to stave off omicron. And with infection rates hitting all-time highs just a few days ahead of Christmas, it’s looking like more than a million of us will be self-isolating on the big day.

There are no two ways about it: this sucks. This was going to be the Christmas to smash all Christmases - more turkey, more booze, more warm embraces with our loved ones.

Buckling under the weight of disappointment, with nothing but the abject hellscape of our own thoughts to keep us company, it’s understandable that we might be tempted by the quick comforts of ill advised sexts, bad food and hardcore pornography. But - and I speak from experience — that way madness (and loss of dignity) lies.

If you find yourself turning to the dark-side, stop and refer to this simple list of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’. You’ll thank me for it when you’re back in the world.

Don’t! Sext your ex

According to a poll of my close friends, 46% of festive traffic on WhatsApp is made-up of messages sent to/ from exes. The figures do not lie — but your ex probably did. And even if they didn’t, now’s not the time to reopen old wounds.

Posing topless next to your solo Christmas lunch — “just breast for me ;)” — won’t bring them back and if it does, is there any less auspicious way to (re)start a relationship than this?

The omicron variant has stolen your Christmas, not your dignity, so put your phone down, horny loner.

Do! Stop watching true crime documentaries

The problem with the true crime genre is not just that it’s moreish but that, much like ketamine, its moreishness causes us to lose touch with reality. Before we know it, we are deep in the belly of Reddit, arguing with an incel from the midWest about who did what to the Texan hairdresser. We have grown a neck beard and have forgotten that we never knew Mindy, have never been to Texas, weren’t even alive in 1974. With no one else around it’s all too easy to slip into a parallel universe of conspiracy theories and paranoiac thought spirals.

Keep your grip on reality by sticking to approved Christmas viewing; binge the Queen’s speech, Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas Carol. Let the glowy, warming content fill you with Christmas cheer.

Don’t! Scroll Twitter

See above.

Do! Go Live on Instagram

How else will friends, family and random people in your followers list know that you are ‘okay’, unless you go online every hour to tell them that you are ‘okay’? No, it is not a ‘cry for help’ - just because you’re not there in person doesn’t mean you cannot be a constant digital presence in the lives of your loved ones. Private Zoom parties are so last year. This Christmas, be everywhere.

Don’t! Remove your fridge door

A friend used her isolation as an opportunity to do all the DIY she’d been putting off for years — including swapping the hinges on her fridge door so that it’d open from the other side. She got half way through and realised she was missing a vital part, then couldn’t get the door back on its hinges. She spent the rest of isolation without a fridge. The moral of this story is do not do DIY while delirious.

Do! Eat everything

There are things in the cupboards that you thought you’d never eat. Now is your chance. Fresh-made popcorn with a side of baked beans and a dessert of two-year-old Christmas pudding? Yes please, yum yum. Come January you’ll have clear cupboards and a fresh perspective on survival.

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