How to combat lonelinessDec 20, 2022
We all feel lonely from time to time, we might also describe it as feeling disconnected or perhaps disengaged. Often, loneliness is experienced when our social contact and the connection within our relationships aren't met.
Feeling lonely isn't the same as being alone, but of course, sometimes the two are connected. People can feel lonely in a room full of friends and family, just like people can feel lonely when they are spending time alone. Everyone's experience of loneliness is different and varies.
Loneliness can creep up around Christmas time, or other times that are meant to feel 'happy' or 'fulfilling'.
Is Christmas a lonely time for you?
The festive season is renowned for bringing people together, be it extended family, friends or even lovers. This can be distressing when you may feel lonely, despite so many people around you.
What can be just as distressing, is the heavy placement on how lively and full of love the holiday season can be, when in reality there may be a significant absence of loved ones. Whether there's someone important who can no longer be with you, or you find yourself alone on Christmas Day, the topic of festivities can bring about very low feelings.
Ways to help with this are:
- Planning ahead - If you will be having a Christmas Day on your own what do you want from that day and what do you need to plan beforehand to have this day? Is it getting particular food in to eat, planning what films or TV you might want to watch, planning on who you might want to face-time or call?
- Helping others - Helping others is a way to help ourselves. What could you do around this time of year to give back? Lots of food kitchens and homeless shelters need support in terms of donations as well as hands-on help. Or perhaps there is a neighbour nearby that would appreciate a chat or support with some errands.
- Creating magic - Finding a way to remember loved ones no longer with you. What tradition could you create to remember them? It could be writing them a letter on Christmas or New Year's eve to tell them about the year you've just had, it could be visiting a special place that reminds you of them, it could be bringing something into your home such as a Christmas ornament/decoration that represents them to you so that you feel their presence more around this time of year. Or perhaps you want to do something in honour of them, something that reminds you of them. Think about the person, and what feels right for you.
- Finally, if you find yourself feeling alone when you are surrounded by lots of people, even just taking a couple of minutes to take some deep breaths in and out and centre yourself can help. Remember, this feeling won't last forever and while you can't control other people you are always in control of yourself and your responses.
If you are celebrating Christmas, then I wish you a very special one.
And wishing you all a very happy and fulfilling New Years.