Dealing with loneliness during the Christmas holiday
Christmas is the time we mostly look forward to spend quality time with our families and friends. It is characterized by feelings of love and happiness, laughter and peace of mind, as persons focus on what Christmas represents and as they seek to share with others who may be less fortunate.
Sad to say, Christmas is also a time when some persons feel and experience the deepest loneliness for different reasons, such as the death of a loved one, living far from relatives, or because of social isolation. This article serves to help persons in such situations find effective ways of coping during the season.
Tips for Coping with Loneliness at Christmas:
One way to cope with being alone on Christmas is to actually go out and do something productive. Rather than spend the day at home, alone, find something that you can do that fits with your mindset and mental state for the day:
1. Say Yes
Perhaps you are alone this year because you turned down invitations. Call those people back and say “yes.” This is often a problem for those with social anxiety — you turn down invitations only to regret it and feel lonely afterward.
One way to gain a better appreciation for the good things in your life is to get involved in volunteering. Volunteering during the holidays is a way to connect with others, boost your self-esteem, and bring joy to people who are less fortunate. Consider offering to share a meal with the homeless, bring gifts to a children’s orphanage or the children’s ward at the hospital or visit lonely residents at a nursing home.
3. Host an Orphan for Christmas
You are not the only one alone during the holidays. Plan an “Orphan Christmas” for those who have no one to spend the holiday with, or join a group of people in similar circumstances. If you feel anxious about reaching out — consider that other people who are alone on Christmas may feel isolated, lonely, and nervous to call on you, too.
4. Enjoy Solitude
If being alone on Christmas is unavoidable, plan a day for yourself. Buy something online to treat yourself if you can afford it, cook your favourite foods, and plan a movie marathon.
Or, cut through the clichés and do something you are not accustom doing, like learning a new language or starting work on a new project that you have been dreaming about. Christmas is a day to indulge in whatever makes you happy.
5. Give Thanks
Generally when we take the time to identify and give thanks for the blessings in our lives, it reduces the time to engage in negative thoughts. Christmas is the perfect day to take the time to appreciate what you have in life, be it good health, a place to live, or food on the table. Having gratitude will also help you to move past anxiety, as you learn to live in the present moment and be mindful of your surroundings. One way to practice gratitude is to write down three things you are grateful for on this day.