The holidays are regarded as a magical time of year. It is a reminder to spread joy and love to mankind. Yet for many, this seemingly “merry” time of year is not so merry. There are plenty of people in this country who either live far away from their family, are single, or have lost their loved ones. This can be a particularly isolating time of the year. It’s worth noting that the holidays are not the only isolating time of year. There is always Valentine’s Day, for example. So how can one cope with loneliness over the holidays? Read on to find out the five things you can do to fight loneliness when the holidays arrive.
1. Practice Self Care
Practicing self-care is always important; and will come in handy during times of stress. When you are feeling lonely, soak in a bubble bath. Add salt crystals to the water if you like and if you wish, light scented candles. Treat yourself to a delicious dessert, whether you are calorie-conscious or not. Read that book you were looking forward to reading but never had the time. Indulge in a soothing activity, one that will help you feel good.
2. Realize You’re Not Alone
If you are feeling lonely and depressed this time of the year, you are not alone. Sadly, many people living in this country feel this way. Realize that many others out there are feeling the same way you do. In an online poll, more than half of the U.S. population feel lonely during the holidays. A very small percentage of people said they were not lonely. Talking to others can help, online or in person. If you are suffering from depression, consider joining a support group in your area.
3. Have realistic expectations
There are many people who don’t have the family dynamics seen in Christmas movies. Our society has many expectations for this time of year. If you are single, realize that it is OK to be single. If you were invited to a holiday work party, for example, there is nothing wrong with taking your best friend along as your date. I recommend staying away from social media to avoid FOMO, otherwise known as Fear Of Missing Out. If the holidays are approaching and you have no celebratory plans, prepare yourself for it (emotionally) ahead of time if you can. For example, plan self-care strategies you could use to help fight off feelings of sadness that you already know are coming.
4. Adopt a Pet
Loneliness can be extremely hard, at any time of year. Sadly, isolation is common these days. If you are lonely and have room in your heart for a pet, visit your nearest animal shelter and adopt one. Studies show that bonding with a pet can greatly decrease feelings of depression and isolation. Owning a pet can decrease health problems and can help you live longer. It can also be very fulfilling. Having another life to depend on you can help you feel a sense of purpose. Obviously, this tip is not meant for everyone.
5. Give to Others
Is there a particular cause you are passionate about? For example, are you passionate about animal welfare, the homeless, or veterans? Consider volunteering in your community. Not only will it leave you feeling good, you will get the chance to meet like-minded people. Studies show that volunteering can increase a person’s self-esteem. This is also a great way to make new friends.
You do not have to be lonely this holiday season. If you follow one of the tips mentioned above, you will be able to distract yourself from empty feelings. If you or someone you love is struggling with feelings of loneliness, give us a call and schedule your free consultation. We are here to help. (888) 203-0113. Happy Holidays.