7 Things to Remember When You Feel Lonely During the Holidays…

Now with Thanksgiving behind us, the Christmas and other holiday decorations and activities are up in full force.

The holidays are a time where a lot of feelings come up because there is a lot of stimulus all around us and we are out of our routine. The sounds, smells, people, and traditions can make it challenging to cope with the holidays, especially if you have experienced a loss or change in your life.

One aspect of the holiday season that we haven’t talked about is how it can be riddled with loneliness. Sometimes, even when we are surrounded by others (or especially when we are surrounded by others), we can still feel a deep longing for that someone who isn’t there.

And it isn’t that you aren’t grateful for those who are, but perhaps it just isn’t the same. ​​​​​Make sure to have some compassion for yourself.

Loneliness, according to former U.S.​ Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek​​​​​​ Murthy, is the most common pathology or illness. He said that loneliness is responsible for a reduction in life-span more than diabetes, heart-disease, or obesity. Check out this article and video about how to conquer loneliness during the holidays.

The pain of loneliness during the holidays is often heightened, not only due to the aforementioned stimulus, but it also impacted by advertising and social media.

If you find yourself feeling lonely during the holidays, it is important to remember:

  1. You are not the only person who feels this way.
  2. What you see on social media and in advertisements is not the whole picture… everyone has a story behind the facade.
  3. We need each other. We are a species who craves social interaction for survival… so it isn’t strange or weird if you feel lonely.
  4. There are others who likely want to connect. Seek connection with people or animals who you feel like you can be authentic around.
  5. Consider finding a volunteer opportunity that allows you to be in the company of others.
  6. Spend time with both your grief and your gratitude.
  7. There is a difference between choosing to be alone because you like alone time to recharge and choosing to be alone because you are afraid to be a burden to others.

According to the Grief Recovery Institute, “grieve alone” is one of the most common myths about grief. So if you are choosing to be alone because you are worried about being a burden, look into finding a Grief Recovery Support Group in your area or consider asking for help. If you don’t know where to begin, leave a comment or contact me, and I will help you find what you are looking for

If you found yourself stressed out by your interactions during Thanksgiving, and are feeling anxiety or dread about Christmas, Chanukah, the New Year, or any other holiday celebration, check out my new book The Compassion Code: How to say the right thing when the wrong thing happens to help you navigate this time of year with more ease and less burnout. 
Or download my free Compassion Code Starter Kit to begin your journey toward confident, compassionate communication… even during the holidays.

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