Holidays can be a lonely time for some. If you find yourself alone during the holidays this year, there are a lot of creative ways to overcome feelings of isolation.
People end up alone during the holidays for a variety of reasons. Some live far away from family or have jobs that require they work the holiday. Those who are grieving sometimes choose to spend the day alone. Others have dysfunctional families that can turn a happy holiday into a depressing day of drama that they would rather avoid. No matter the time of year or season, develop life skills to avoid and overcome loneliness, because research shows it can have adverse effects on health.
If you find yourself alone and without holiday plans and wish to celebrate, take action. Plan now and create action steps. Doing so can help you avoid “depression triggers” that can throw you into a rut. Grab a calendar and plan concrete steps in writing that you will take when the holiday period arrives. Will you open your home to other single friends? Will you seek volunteer opportunities nearby? What about helping feed the homeless or perhaps singing carols at a nursing home? These activities are tried-and-true intervention steps others have used to overcome loneliness and experience gratitude.
Check the newspaper, and begin your to-do list of events, special “me-time” treats, day trips, and new and unusual ways to fill the days. Look to your community for creative opportunities, such as spending the day with military members stationed in your town or baking cookies and taking them to your city’s first responders. A quick way to find ideas to alleviate loneliness is to search online “alone during the holidays.” It’s nearly guaranteed that you will find ideas appropriate for your situation.
Social media can contribute to feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression, especially during the holidays. Consider limiting your time online. At the very least, remain aware of its potential to show you an unrealistic view of life—friends usually post only the good.
The secret to lifting your spirit is engagement with others. Enjoy the holidays whether you are with others or alone. However, be sure you experience daily interactions with people to safeguard your health during the holiday season and throughout the year. You will feel more uplifted, experience less negative self-talk, and have accomplishments you will look back on with fond memories.
Excerpted from WorkExcel.com