The pandemic has made it harder than ever to connect with others and meet new people, triggering a sense of loneliness in many of us. Now the holidays are upon us, making some of us feel lonelier than ever. This is especially true for those struggling with mental health issues or separated from their loved ones at this time. For these reasons, it’s essential to have a plan for dealing with loneliness during the holiday season.
13 Ways to Deal with Loneliness During the Holidays
#1 Connect with Your Community
Join a peer group through Meetup or some other online group. You can meet like-minded people who like to cook, play sports, hike, do yoga, play trivia games, rock climb, run a marathon, or travel.
There was a time in my life when I wanted to take a break from drinking. I thought the only way to do that was to isolate myself from everyone around me. Of course, this created an immense feeling of loneliness. So, I tried to find social activities that didn’t require drinking. I searched for social groups online and found some hikers on Meetup. I was now going on hikes with 50-100 people at a time. It felt nice knowing that others were yearning for the same thing I was.
It might feel awkward at first, but once those endorphins start kicking in, you will feel great! At the end of each hike, I would look forward to being alone because of all the interactions I was having with others. Socializing helped me overcome my feelings of loneliness while creating a sense of appreciation for my alone time.
#2 Join a Peer Sports League
There are many leagues out there looking for people of all ages. You can join sports teams that play softball, volleyball, kickball, soccer, or whatever. Many of these groups spend time practicing, socializing, hosting events, and having fun together. Being a part of a team can really help fulfill the longing for connectedness that you’re feeling.
#3 Be Kind to Strangers
Be kind to strangers and engage in conversation if they seem receptive. You never know—a simple smile or “hello” can turn your whole day around. You could be helping other people alleviate their feelings of loneliness as well.
#4 Engage with Others on Social Media
Post things that you are doing and reply to comments on your posts. Although this might be a temporary fix, it will help you connect with others and may even help you rekindle old friendships or connect with distant family members. However, if you find that social media might be triggering your feeling of loneliness, take a break from it.
#5 Connect with the Universe
Spend time in nature or visit an energetic vortex location like Sedona, Meditation Mount in Ojai, or Mount Shasta. These peaceful places can help you put humanity and the vast universe into perspective, letting you know that you are a part of something bigger. It was during the loneliest times of my life that I felt drawn to these magical, highly energetic places where all my fears seem to melt away. There’s this instant connection with the universe that makes me feel so loved—a love that’s indescribable. There’s no fear, no stress, no anger; just pure bliss! I encourage you to go and feel it for yourself.
#6 Choose Experiences over Things
Sometimes we feel that buying material things will bring us happiness, but we soon realize that the satisfaction is short-lived. It is experiences that bring sustainable joy. Also, participating in activities outside your home will help you connect with others. So, say “YES” more often when you get invited to events and make experiences a priority.
#7 Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Comparing ourselves to others leads to negativity and insecurity, diminishing our self-esteem and self-worth. We’re all on our own journey going at our own pace. Focusing on other people’s progress only distracts you from successfully living out your life. If you find that people you’re hanging out with make you feel less of yourself, try to distance yourself from them. It’s nothing personal against them; you just need to prioritize yourself first.
If social media causes you to compare yourself to others, take a break from it. If it’s one or two people who make you feel that way, then unfollow them. Remember that most people only put their best version of themselves on social media, even if they’re unhappy behind the scenes. Someone in a relationship can feel lonelier or unhappier than a single person does. You never know what’s happening in other people’s lives, so don’t take social media at face value.
#8 Participate in a Charitable Event
Helping those less fortunate than you can help put your blessings into perspective. It also allows you to feel good about yourself, adds value to your existence, and will help fulfill that sense of community.
#9 Embrace Gratitude
Being grateful for everything you’ve received in life enables you to see the bright side of things. This attitude can help promote positivity, which will bring more good things to your life. Having a more optimistic outlook can benefit the mind, body, and spirit. Stop dwelling over the fact that you feel lonely. The more positive vibes you put out there, the better things you’ll attract. If you’re only focusing on feeling lonely, you’ll attract more loneliness in your life. If you focus on feeling grateful and positive, you’ll attract more abundance in your life.
#10 Pinpoint what is Triggering Your Loneliness
Make a list of all the things that make you lonely. Now list all the things that make you feel connected, content, and joyful. Try to avoid the things that make you feel lonely while filling your life with the things that make you feel good.
#11 Stop the pity parties and do something about it!
Sometimes it’s hard to realize that you might be the cause of your own loneliness. I’ve had many moments in my past where I’ve cried and complained about my feelings of loneliness, knowing deep inside that my actions were the reason I felt this way. I was surrounded by friends and family; however, I purposefully secluded myself from others because I didn’t feel like socializing.
Push yourself to socialize with others even if you don’t feel like it. Many of us love cuddling up on the couch and watching TV with a bag of popcorn. But it’s important to put yourself out there, even if it’s just for a few hours per week. Reach out to people you haven’t seen in a while and ask them to join you for coffee, brunch, or a walk. If you don’t have friends who enjoy the same things you do, try to make new friends. The digital revolution has made it easier than ever to meet people. Dating websites are no longer exclusive to dating; you can find friends there, too.
#12 Adopt an Animal
Animals make excellent companions and can help overcome loneliness. Having an animal that can join you on walks, hikes, or trips can help provide a sense of security when you’re doing things alone. I used to love bringing my dog with me when I dined alone. It was a great conversation starter, and I wouldn’t feel awkward going by myself. Also, taking your dog for walks increases your likelihood of meeting someone and sparking good conversation. This is a great way to overcome loneliness because there is no obligation to stay and chat. A quick smile or a few words is enough to help overcome your feeling of loneliness.
#13 Realize That There’s Nothing Wrong with Being Single.
In fact, there are more single people in this modern day and age than ever before. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to meet new people. I know that online dating can be exhausting but look at it as a way to connect with others even if it doesn’t end up in a romantic relationship.
There are many benefits to being single that you may not realize. Here are some examples: 1) Freedom to do what you want. 2) Ability to travel at the drop of a dime. 3) Ability to date whoever you want and be picky about your potential partner. 4) Have a bigger social circle. 5) Less stress, worrying, and anxiety. 6) Have time to work on loving and finding yourself. 7) Enables you to become a self-sufficient person (meaning you don’t need anyone else to satisfy your needs or help you survive).
About the Author: Taleen Keuftedjian is a mental health and wellness enthusiast who coaches others on the importance of whole-body health. She is the author of the recently published book Balance the Bossy Brain – A Personal Experience Guide on Overcoming Anxiety by finding the root cause and healing the mind, body, and spirit.
She takes a relatable approach where she uses her own personal experiences to help motivate others to live a healthy, happy, anxiety-free life.
Want to read Balance the Bossy Brain? Check out the link above!
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