As much as it's a happy time for many during the holiday season, there are those who feel quite differently, due to life circumstances.
For some the holidays are a reminder that they are alone. They may be widowed, divorced, separated or away from family and friends. Or they may be grieving the loss of a loved one. Regardless of what the situation is, the loneliness they feel can be very tough and painful.
If these feelings hit close to home, we'd like to share 5 Tips that could help:
1. Make time to spend with Close Friends
There are some great local events this time of year so perhaps plan some outings with friends. You can attend a ballet (https://nac-cna.ca/en/dance/events), a movie, or a concert. You can also opt to stay and cook dinner together or order take-out. Spend time with people who you can be yourself around. Spend time with people with whom you feel comfortable to be yourself.
2. Reach Out to Others In Need
It's interesting how quickly we forget about our concerns when we use our time, energy, and resources to help others in need. Find an organization that speaks to your heart, and learn how you can provide assistance.
Or if you know someone who is going through a difficult time or battling a health challenge, they're likely having a tough holiday too. Perhaps call and make plans for a visit. Bring flowers or treats or a heartwarming card. You'll make their day brighter and in turn, yours as well!
3. Pamper Yourself
You are worth it! Treat yourself to something you love. A day at a spa, a massage, or find a special way to pamper yourself. You can even do a home spa treatment. You can even take a little trip to a place locally you've never been before or just relax at home with your favourite reading material and a tasty hot drink!
The holidays can be a lonely time, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel alone. Stay focused on acknowledging and meeting your needs, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the holidays are over.
4. Make some Phone Calls
Call or text friends and ask to be included in whatever they’re doing. It's amazing what can happen with a simple phone call to a loved one or a dear friend! You can offer to bring a dish or ask what you can contribute to the gathering. Most people agree, the more wonderful people at a gathering, the merrier it is! So don't be give your friends the gift of you! :)
5. Adjust Your Expectations
Elaine Rodino, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, California, says there are so many expectations people have about the holiday season and it being just right. This causes a variety of issues relating to family, anxiety, stress, and competency. There is a tendency to want everything to be perfect and if it's not, disappointment and frustration can ensue. Changing our focus and adjusting our expectations can go a long way to help reduce stress, anxiety and sadness. Focus on the important things and simple but amazing blessings in your life.
6. Take time to Reflect on Your Blessings
Take out old photo albums or scroll through photos on your phone or look through old letters. While this may be bittersweet, Or thing about simple pleasures that you appreciate. Craig Ellison, Ph.D., author of 'Saying Goodbye to Loneliness and Finding Intimacy', notes it may be bittersweet to do so but says it's "not toxic." And if possible, get on the phone and chat with loved ones who are still living.
7. Try your Best to Make it through the Day
If you aren't able to do any of the items listed above, then just try your best to get through each challenging day. Be patient with yourself and take baby steps. Read. Sleep. Lounge in your PJs. Re-watch an old favourite movie.