Don't be alone during the holidays. Whether you have Bipolar Disorder, another mental disorder, support someone who has a mental disorder or simply want to avoid holiday depression and blues, you need to be aware of how being alone during the holidays can lead to serious depression. If you are in a situation where you may be alone and have no one to share the holidays with, you can end up becoming 'blue', 'down' and have negative feelings.

If you think you will be alone during the holidays, start thinking of what you can do to prevent this. There are lots of ways to avoid being alone and even help someone else avoid the holiday blues in the process. Here are some suggestions to help you develop ideas to make your holidays joyful instead of sad and depressing:

1. Go visit friends. Any good friend will be excited to have you over during the holiday season. A lot of people who are alone feel weird or strange about asking to go over a friend's house. Almost everyone is happy to share their holidays with others who may be alone; I know that I do.

2. Volunteer. You can volunteer at shelters, food banks and many other places. I've done this before and found it very satisfying and I personally enjoy the experience because I love to help people.

3. Attend uplifting events. Parades, church presentations, local plays, holiday craft sales and other similar events provide great opportunities to get out of the house and interact with others. Whenever possible get out and do something fun.

4. See a good movie. If you find yourself alone at a time that you are feeling down, go see a good movie. Some of the best, funniest and most uplifting movies of the year come out during the holidays. This can be a great way to get away from your negative feelings and hear people around you laughing and enjoying themselves. After enjoying some popcorn and a good film, you'll feel much more like socializing.

5. Join a group of carolers. They don't care if you don't sing like a nightingale. They'll probably be happy to have you join them. Or, if you don't like to sing, make cocoa and cookies for those that visit your neighborhood and invite them to stop in after their caroling to share your warmth. You'll meet new friends this way.

6. Visit shut-ins. Elderly and disabled people at any local hospital or nursing home need visitors during the holidays to uplift their spirits. While you may think this would be depressing, the joy of those faces when someone brings them a smile and a social time is so rewarding that you'll probably want to go back at other times. These people will truly and deeply welcome you into their lives. They don't expect gifts or card; they simply need some company and often have families too far away to visit often. Too often, they too are alone during holidays.

7. Meet the neighbors. Those neighbors you have never met would simply love to meet you and share some holiday spirit with you. Take a few cookies and introduce yourself; expand your world by meeting those around you.

8. Why not throw a small party yourself? Contact a few friends and ask them to come over sometime during the holiday season. During your social time, you'll probably be invited to all sorts of holiday events. It doesn't have to be a fancy or costly party, just a few snacks and some friends. During the social gathering, let a few friends know that you are expecting to be alone during the holidays and you'll find invitations pouring in.

9. Let others know. If you attend a support group, a club or any type of organization, ask who else may be alone during the holidays and make the first move by asking if they would share a meal with you. They may be just as afraid to reach out as you have been and really need to be with someone during the season. Don’t be afraid to ask. If no one else is alone, chances are that you will be invited to share your holiday with others. If you can't afford to prepare a meal to share, ask anyone that is alone if they would go to a local community dinner such as those prepared by Salvation Army and share the meal with you. I've had friends do this and they reported the food was home-cooked and exceptionally good and the people were very, very friendly. Afterwards, perhaps a good rented movie and conversation could round out your day with your friend.

10. Befriend someone less fortunate. Share your holiday with an elderly or disabled person who has no one. It is easy to call a church or social organization and inquire if they know of someone who may be alone and needing company. You can be certain the people referred by these organizations will feel that you are a true blessing during the otherwise lonely holidays and you may find a new life-long friend.

If you have Bipolar Disorder or support someone you love that has the disorder, you will want to learn more about how to cope and deal with the holidays or any other difficult, lonely period. To learn more, visit to sign up for the free course about Bipolar Disorder.