Being alone does not have to mean you feel lonely. You can have an enjoyable holiday season, even if you are alone. Holidays are a time when we share and give love, and often people who are alone during this time can unfortunately end up feeling depressed when they do not have people with whom they can connect with. Feeling alone can be really difficult, because we are by ourselves watching others in groups of family, friends, work parties, church gatherings and public events. We may even be among them, but not being with a partner or close friends, we feel alone. The truth, however, is that many people are not always near those they love during the holidays. If you are feeling alone, what can you do to make the holidays joyful and connecting rather than depressing?
1. Be Realistic
It is not always as it seems. You know the scenario. Warm cozy fire, people mingling about, joyful family gathered around in a beautiful home with the smell of hot wassail in the air. This image has been portrayed by the media for decades and has created such a standard that when one is not at a similar event feelings of sadness, loneliness, and at times depression can be evoked. If you find yourself alone during the holidays, you are not alone. There are thousands like you.
2. Nurture Yourself
When was the last time you did something for you? Why not step into some solid self-care and nurturing. Gift yourself a massage or a day at the spa. Swing by your favorite bookstore to snatch a good read and put your feet up with a hot drink. Order takeout Chinese or whatever suits you. Just do whatever you enjoy. Give yourself permission to bless yourself. This time can be a time for you to celebrate what you enjoy as part of the season. Make sure you schedule time for relaxation and rest.
3. Be Proactive, Reach Out
Remember, you are not the only one feeling alone during the holidays. Call up a friend who might not have plans who might be on their own. Think of those who are more likely to not have friends. Be the light and joy for someone not expecting it, even if they aren’t in your normal circle of associates. Maybe they are older, maybe they are lower on the economic scale, but they have a life and love to share and so do you! Line up a holiday dinner or setup some other type of gathering. Most presume that everyone else has plans or is otherwise busy during the holidays, yet that is not always the case. Even if they have other activities planned, most people are open and even eager to embrace and spend time with others.
When you remember and honor your past and all the good within it you can alleviate feelings of sadness and loneliness. This alleviation occurs because it promotes a holistic view of your life in such a manner you can see things much more clearly. Reminiscing and journaling are activities that nearly everyone can participate in. They can and will amplify your sense of self-awareness and foster a greater feeling of gratitude for the rich memories of times past you have enjoyed. Virtually everyone needs to laugh, and remembering good times can and will lift your spirit.
5. Serving and Building Others
Looking to connect and build others can help prevent loneliness in a powerful way. Try volunteering to help serve a meal at a local homeless shelter, visiting a neighbor, calling and checking up on old friends, or visiting a relative or friend in a care facility. Actively looking for ways to build up others can add an emotional boost to your mood and sense of well-being. Make this holiday season a great one! It’s a choice—make it for you! Forget your loneliness by engaging in uplifting activities–nurture yourself, reach out to others, remember the good in your life and serve those in need.
Copyright: No part of this article in section or full may be reproduced without permission from the author Justin Stum, MS LMFT. The one and only exception is for educational purposes and only if the contact information below for the author is fully cited here in article.
About the Author: Justin Stum is a licensed counselor and therapist in private practice in St. George Utah. He practices as a relationship and emotional wellness expert, and has been treating individuals, teens, and couples for over a decade assisting them in creating and maintaining connected healthy relationships. You can reach him on his blog at https://www.justinstum.com or follow him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JustinStumLMFT or Instagram @JustinStum or by phone 435.574.9193