Dealing with feelings of loneliness and solitude during the holidays

December 20, 2023

Written by
Apiary Life

The holidays are generally considered to be a season of happiness, joy, and togetherness, but for many this period represents feelings of isolation and separation from family, those around them or the wider population.

The holidays are generally considered to be a season of happiness, joy, and togetherness, but for many this period represents feelings of isolation and separation from family, those around them or the wider population. Whilst there is an expectation that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and other celebratory holidays and festivals are times of happiness, this is not necessarily the case for everyone. We all have unique circumstances, and this over-simplified view can lead to increased feelings of isolation if you happen to not be experiencing the joy that others seemingly experience. Holiday seasons can in fact be incredibly isolating for many, from those who do not have family or loved ones to spend time with, to those who have recently lost a loved one and do not feel in the mood to celebrate or those who are struggling financially or otherwise.

If you find yourself dealing with loneliness, acknowledge and accept these feelings, free from guilt. Loneliness is something that everyone experiences from time to time in every life circumstance. While it can feel overwhelming at the time, there are ways to cope and try to overcome these difficult periods. Consider the following tips during bouts of loneliness that may creep into your thoughts during the holiday season:

Do not compare yourself or your situation to others

In this world of technology, many are made to feel that everything on social media is true. Seeing everyone’s lives through a curated lens can lead to comparing yourself to others and either feeling that you are missing out or doing something wrong. Do not feel you have to follow the crowd, tradition, or anyone else; embrace the goodness you have in your life right now.

A small act of kindness can go a long way

Do not fall into the trap or feel pressured to spend the majority of your bank balance to feel that you have done a good deed. You would be surprised to know how many people would appreciate small acts of kindness, for instance going for a walk with a friend, helping a neighbour out with household tasks or finding someone in your community who needs a friend.  These little things often mean a lot more to people than an expensive gift or deed.

Giving can also mean giving to yourself

Most psychologists would say that giving to others has a positive impact on how you feel generally and about yourself. Take the time to show the same kindness and giving nature towards yourself as you show others. This does not mean buying yourself the latest gadget or fashion trend, but it could mean giving yourself time to relax, time to do things you enjoy, or time to try something new.

Make room for a new connection

Periods of isolation or not having a current support network can allow you to make room for new connections to come into your life. Having the opportunity to open yourself up to new people can enrich your life and open new possibilities. Although you may feel the tendency to self-isolate when feeling low, pushing yourself to try a new activity, class, or hobby or even attend social events could open your door to meeting new people. Similarly, if you are dealing with a difficult event in your life and there are opportunities to receive help from outside sources, like an employee benefit, take those opportunities to make a connection which may help you to combat the challenges you are facing.  

This year and always, show empathy, compassion and understanding to yourself and others who may also be feeling isolated or lonely. There is no such thing as a ‘typical holiday’ nor is there any rule book as to what you must do or how you must feel during the holiday season.  
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