The Holiday season can feel like a time when everyone we know is busy with friends and family, shopping for gifts for their loved ones, or busy celebrating at holiday parties. Whenever we shift to the TV, we’re bombarded with images of the perfect family and their pristine holiday, coupled with everyone smiling. However, the reality is most of us feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness throughout the entire holiday season. It’s when we’re reminded of those we lost, the ones that live far away, and people we no longer see regularly. All of this can leave us feeling alone and in our own isolation.
Loneliness has recently been described as one of the most significant public health challenges of our time, and the pressure to be connected when it comes to Christmas can make feelings of loneliness even bigger. Loneliness can affect anyone, although it can be particularly hard for those over the age of 75. If you’re spending the holidays alone this year or are feeling a bit lonely, here are a few tips to consider.
Make the Most of Your Alone Time
Staying in isn’t a bad thing; it gives you time to get lost in a new book, catch up on a new TV series, or cozy up with some hot cocoa. It can be comforting having a pile of episodes or a long book to work your way through and not have to think about anything!
Start a new Tradition
While the Christmas period can feel like a time full of social pressures, it’s also a time where opportunities to try new activities increase tenfold! Have a look at the festive offerings in your area, and don’t be afraid to go along by yourself – take advantage of the chance to meet and chat with new people.
With wreath-making or gingerbread house workshops, bread making classes, Christmas concerts, and fairs, you could pack your calendar with festive activities.
Help Others through Volunteering
If you find yourself with spare time over the Christmas holidays, why not look into local organizations and community groups that might need some extra help?
Knowing you’re helping others is likely to make you feel better about your situation. It could also be a great chance to meet like-minded people and possibly to make new friends!
Remember you’re not Alone
The idea that you’re the only one without plans can feel isolating, but we promise you you’re not! Many people are in the same boat, and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Loneliness is likely to be experienced by all of us at some point in our lives, and talking to others about it can remind us that it’s a totally normal thing to feel. It could be a nice idea to have a frank and honest conversation with someone you trust about times when you might have experienced loneliness and be open to hearing their experiences too.
See a Professional
Knowing that you’re not alone is one thing, but we also recommend you talk things over with someone. At Clear Mind Treatment, we specialize in helping you find a solution to your mental health concerns. We offer a free phone consultation in case you’re not sure if therapy is right for you. If you’re not in Los Angeles, but are interested we also provide telemedicine appointments over video chat.