As we enter the holiday season, it is a time of peace, love, and joy and spending time with family and friends, it can also be a time of loneliness. Being away from family or friends because of distance during this time of year is difficult, which may cause one to become anxious about going to holiday parties and other celebrations like Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, especially without a partner. Many times they may stay home because of the emotional disconnect from others leading to a state of feeling lonely.
Those of you who feel lonely or sad, the holiday season can bring about much stress and anxiety. These feelings are normal, real, and can get the best of you. Loneliness can rob you of happiness, bring about more sorrow, and put you in a state of depression.
How can I get rid of this thing called loneliness?
Trying to overcome loneliness can be difficult, but there are a few ways to have hope to work through it. Let’s look at seven ways to overcome loneliness as you try to cope through the holiday season.
1: Self-Care is Important
This may not be the answer to your loneliness, but taking the time for self-care is important. It helps you to feel better about yourself and allow you to take those moments to appreciate you. Spending that quality time like a spa treatment, reading a book, or learning something new brings value to who you are, but more importantly, boosts your self-esteem.
Taking the time to recognize the benefit of self-care will help you to take your mind (and focus) away from feeling alone, as well as lift your spirits.
2: You’re Not Alone
It is hard to feel the way you might feel during the holiday season; no one wants to feel lonely. It sure doesn’t help to know that many people feel this way during the holidays as well. Many people want to be near their family or loved ones, and it may not be possible. Some wish to have the same relationships they previously shared with others. Being connected with others and longing for such connections causes many challenges when one does not have this during the holiday season. It is uncomfortable to experience such loneliness and to feel those feelings of loneliness, but it is fine to tell yourself it’s OK to have such feelings. Sharing what you’re feeling to others is a start and allowing yourself to share your concerns with
someone – a family member, a trusted friend, or even a mental health professional. As long as you’re able to allow yourself to be vulnerable is necessary and a way toward starting a healthy way of thinking.
3: Reset Your Mindset
The holiday season can be a time of much-unneeded stress – attending parties and showing up with a partner or exchanging gifts and having to put on a face that may not show who you are. In society, there is a high expectation of certain customs and traditions that can bring about such stress; this leaves many people feeling empty and lack value within.
Social media, in many ways, can also be a factor in this stress during the holidays. Pictures of family, friends, celebrities, and other influencers showing off what they’re doing, where they are, what they are wearing, what they are eating, and other activities can create even more stress. It is a perfect lifestyle that shows only a portion of “real life,” a reality that is not true.
It is important to realize and understand that the feelings of loneliness are due to your mindset. Positive thoughts bring positivity, and negative thoughts bring negativity. It is all a matter of changing how you think. Instead of having to have a date for a holiday party or visit family try taking a trusted friend to that holiday party
or spend time with a trusted friend and their family during the holiday season to feel less lonely.
4: Stay Connected
Reaching out to others during the holiday season is a great way to lessen the feelings of loneliness. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a few minutes to say, “Hello!” to neighbor or talking with someone on the phone that you haven’t spoken to for some time or even sharing kind words of encouragement with coworkers at work, taking the time to reach out to others help to boost your mood. This allows you to bond with others and feels more connected.
5: Being Grateful
When loneliness arises, a good way to remedy this is being grateful or having gratitude. Gratitude, as defined in Psychology Today, is “an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has.” Guess what? Taking the time to be thankful for what you have and feeling that you lack something is hard to focus on both at the same time. If you feel that you lack something in your life, make a strong effort to find something (that is healthy) to replace.
You can focus on things that you enjoy doing, things that bring value to who you are, and in your life. Being consistent with having gratitude is necessary and takes some effort. Some examples include taking the time to:
- keeping a gratitude journal, placing your attention to what you value in life, which creates a positive mindset.
- not comparing yourself to others and to “stay in your lane,” if you will, because your life is different from those you’re comparing yourself to.
- know when those feelings of loneliness are coming and finding other ways to address them.
It will take some time, but be patient with yourself and start working on good habits toward not feeling lonely.
There are meaningful ways to reduce loneliness during the holiday season. Volunteer or donate your time to a cause. This could be a local organization or cause
to help others that are less fortunate than you; you can fill those lonely feelings with love and have a sense of pride knowing that you helped someone that needed it. It could also be a time to meet other people that share the same passion and a way to connect. Taking part in something larger than yourself is life-changing, and you will fill your heart and mind with the holiday spirit.
7: Re-examine Your Feelings
Some pills are hard to swallow and uncomfortable, but this may not bring quick results. However, being alone or feeling lonely for long periods is a sign that a change is needed. Take the time to think about why you feel lonely and other feelings that bring such loneliness.
Why do you feel disconnected, causing you to stay at a distance from others? How would you benefit from putting energy in other areas of your life, like your social life, to create good relationships? What steps are you willing to put the time and energy in to have such relationships?
Don’t let loneliness and other negative mindsets get the best of you. Know you are more than this.
You got this!
Loneliness is a serious feeling, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. Whether if it is for a split second or period, know that you can use these seven ways to overcome loneliness to become the best version of you.
It is hard to take that first step.
What are you going to do about it?