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How to Navigate loneliness over the Holidays.

By SOS Safety Magazine
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We all have our moments when we can feel lonely. For some, it is a fleeting feeling. For others, loneliness is a constant emotion that one can sit with, especially when one is separated from their friends, family, and social activities. It’s understandable as, at our core, we are all social beings. Feelings of loneliness can be heightened during particular seasons such as the holidays.

For many, the holidays are a time of joy, traditions, family and friends. However, the holidays can also be a  lonely time. There can be many reasons someone may be alone during Christmas; they could have recently moved , have a strained relationship with their family, a death, or are going through mental health struggles. The possibilities can be endless. 

And while loneliness during the holidays can be very real, we have come up with a list of ways of how to navigate that feeling of loneliness. 

Reach out to others: 

You are not alone in feeling lonely. It is an emotion we all feel. You are also likely not the only person in your circle who is spending the holidays by yourself. So reach out to friends and see their plans. You can enjoy Christmas dinner together if they are sticking around for the holiday season. And if you can’t be with your loved ones physically, be with them virtually. Since the pandemic, we have become experts in Zoom, Teams, and Facetime. 

Lower your expectations: 

It’s normal for us to have such high expectations for the holiday season. As a society, it’s been ingrained into us that Christmas should be a joyous time where our loved ones surround us, we are bombarded with gifts, and we stuff ourselves with tasty food. But, unfortunately, this isn’t a reality for everyone, and that is alright. Your holiday can be spent however you want to spend it. 

Volunteer: 

Christmas is the season of giving, and for many charities and non for profits, the holidays are their busiest time of the year. So why not volunteer your time this holiday season? Volunteering your time to those less fortunate can be a very fulfilling experience. It is a way to be around people and have social interaction over the holiday. 

Stay off social media 

It’s unavoidable. Social media can consume a lot of our lives, and it’s not very hard to start comparing our lives to others and dooming scrolling can ensue. Comparison and doom scrolling can become even worse over the holidays. Seeing what feels like everyone you know is posting about spending time with their family and gift hauls could make you feel worse about being alone. So it may be best to avoid going on social media or going on it too frequently. 

Examine why you may be feeling lonely 

Holiday loneliness can do deeper than not being able to spend it with loved ones. This could be a perfect time to examine what is behind your loneliness either on your own or maybe with the help of an expert. 

Talk to someone you are close with, a friend, parent, or grandparent, someone you feel secure with being your most vulnerable with, to get to the root of why you may be experiencing those emotions of loneliness. And have more clarity as to what you can do moving forward.

And ask yourself some of these questions; 

Are you putting enough effort into maintaining your relationships? Did something happen that made you distance yourself? What could you do to strengthen relationships that have weakened? 

The holidays are what you make it, and if you may be spending it alone, that doesn’t mean it is any less special. Call up your loved ones, cuddle up with your favourite comfort food and holiday movie, or do your favourite holiday activity. Try putting as much of a positive spin on holiday loneliness as possible. 

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