Happy Holidays Everyone!
Are you having fun yet? Well, that’s if you’re not the one spending all the time in the kitchen. I hope you don’t fall into the category of people who have no one to spend the holidays with or gotten the holiday blues already. If it’s your first holiday feeling lonely, let’s help explore ways to ensure this never happens again and who knows? Maybe you can still help the situation and make the most of it. So let’s find creative ways to be less lonely during the holiday.
Adjust your expectations about the holidays
Although this is absolutely easier said than done because the holiday is definitely in the air. Telling yourself that it’s okay not to have the “typical” holiday season doesn’t magically erase how you’re feeling or your desire to have that experience. But resolving not to bother putting on a brave face, to yourself or to others, can be freeing and lessen the weight of the season just a little. Give yourself permission to not have to be as jolly as everybody expects you to be. You don’t have to force holiday spirit at the end of the day.
Don’t reach out to toxic people in an attempt to feel less lonely
It’s natural to want to connect with someone, anyone, just so you don’t have to brave this sentimental season alone. There’s the general urge to hang out more or at all if you’re not the hanging out type typically and if this isn’t met, you’re only increasing your chances to feel even lonelier. So, you might be tempted to backslide into old relationships, romantic or otherwise, or get more serious with someone you otherwise wouldn’t. Be mindful of those choices you’re making and try not to get sucked into making yourself feel better through false pretenses.
Think of people who you could reach out to, even in a small way
We all have those people around us – those who look up to us. Whether or not we are able to meet their needs doesn’t mean we can’t reach out to them during this holiday, no matter how small. Think about the people in your life you do actually enjoy, and how you can connect with them a little more during this time. Maybe it’s just scheduling a phone call with somebody you usually text with while they’re home with their family. Or hitting up a casual friend for cocktails because you know they’re also staying in town for Christmas.
Avoid totally isolating yourself
For a lot of people, depending on why you’re feeling lonely, loneliness feeds on itself and it’s easy to get stuck in a hard cycle. Pushing yourself a little can really help you feel better, even if taking the initial step is hard. This is especially true for people whose loneliness comes from a place of depression or anxiety. The worst thing for loneliness is to sit around and think about how lonely you are really. Do something – take a walk around. You’ll be amazed how much smiles come to your face just by the events around.
Get off social media where you’re most likely to be more haunted with #PicturePerfect holidays
Subjecting yourself to an onslaught of holiday party pictures and family portraits is probably going to make you lonelier. As entertaining as Instagram can be, it might only be making you more aware of how lonely or miserable you are during this time. It can be refreshing and necessary to get a break from that stuff. Be grateful in your own space and enjoy every nit of your time, no matter what you find to do.
Lastly, redefine the holiday season in your terms and celebrate according
Naturally, we’ve been told the holidays are supposed to be about being around loved ones, warmth, gifts, festivity, etc. Without sounding like a saddist, that doesn’t have to be true at all. I remember when I used to live in that fear but the moment you liberate your mind from norms and conventions, you’ll find that you are able to function as well either way. Maybe this time is about giving back, did you think of it that way? Maybe it’s about self-betterment or self-exploration. Maybe it’s about saving money or getting your life in order or organizing your home. Maybe it’s even about catching up on all the TV you’ve fallen behind on or reading as many books for pleasure as possible.
Maybe this holiday or this season is about something different for you. You owe it to yourself to find out what that is and make the most of it. Either way, it’s only the living that get to spend this time. You might as well to grateful for the time to spend at all.
So enjoy your holidays!