Loneliness can be quite disturbing during the holidays because of all the festivities around, but there are ways to cope with it.
The holiday season can be especially excruciating for those who suffer from loneliness. Watching people mingle and connect with each other, while one is still thinking about how to take the first step towards socializing can be quite a lot to endure. The whole scene tends to make one feel emotionally isolated even more.
According to Psychology Today, loneliness is a subjective feeling of deep social and emotional disconnect. There might be times when one is surrounded by people, but still feel like they are unseen or misunderstood. They can feel the same with their significant other as well.
This year has been unexpected for everyone, and many might find themselves on their own, away from their family during the holidays. That shouldn't stop you from celebrating the holidays and spreading cheer in your own life. Listed below are a few ways by which you can cope with loneliness during this holiday season.
One way to feel less lonely is to override the possibility of being alone too often. Calling up a close friend and going for a coffee, visiting a spiritual place, theatres, and local matches are good options. According to Psych Central, all these activities help in diverting one's attention from negative ideas and coming out of the self-defeating thoughts.
Tell the people you trust that you're vulnerable and feel lonely at times. The honesty will help in making the bond that you share with them even stronger. Tell them about your needs. For instance, if you feel like you need a hug from your close ones, ask shamelessly, as this will help your mind calm down even if it's for a day, an hour, or even a second. Understand that the things you feel are normal. It's good to separate oneself from the daily chores and think about what one is experiencing. With practice, one can surf through it instead of being engulfed by the waves.
Social media has played a major role in changing the lives of many people. With some becoming influencers and small scale Instagram celebrities, they now have the power to influence the minds and decisions of many. However, for a person suffering from loneliness, this can turn out to be quite hazardous as they might compare themselves with everyone who looks even remotely happier than them. If one finds themselves being upset, they should limit the use of all such websites and social media during holidays.
During this time, it's absolutely important to take care of yourself. Practicing deep breathing and engaging in physical activities will help you in getting proper sleep which is important for human beings for physical and mental health. While these activities won't make the feelings of loneliness vanish at once, it will help you enjoy the solitude better. Self-care is important at such times, as per Very Well Mind.
Say a little hello to the neighbor you never spoke to or ask the person sitting next to you at work if they'll join you for a coffee break. Take little steps. We know that being surrounded by people can make you feel lonely, but extending the hand of friendship first, can bring out a different outcome. When you pick up the phone to call that one friend you haven't spoken to in years, you're making connections and trying to patch the bond that you once had. In doing so, it's drifting you away from the loneliness that you usually feel.
Along with holidays come a bunch of expectations from society, like having a partner, going to gatherings and parties, and being happy. So, it's important to understand that people are different, which makes their lifestyle different as well. Instead of looking at them, focus on the things you have or can achieve.
Cultivating the feeling of gratitude will help you focus on the things you already have. Being thankful for the people in your life like your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and the little four-legged friends will help you value their existence in your life and make you realize that you're actually... not alone.
Using the time you have in hand to serve others through activities like volunteering, can help in diverting your attention from yourself. Helping the less fortunate can, in turn, make you feel happy and maybe fill you with love. It could be a great opportunity to bond with like-minded people.
Last but not the least, whenever you find yourself sinking too deep inside the void called loneliness, ask a professional or even a person close to you for help.
Here's a quote that might cheer you up: "All great and precious things are lonely.”
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.