Feeling Alone During the Holidays

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have been thinking about all the different emotions that people face during the holidays.  For some people they are disappointed because they don’t have the family they hoped for or ever dreamed of.  For other people they are struggling because they are alone due to being too far away from their families or just broke up with a significant other or continue to be alone due to their circumstance.  For others, their health or their loved one’s health is declining and it is hard to enjoy anything much less the Thanksgiving Holiday.  When people are struggling they seem to perceive their situation as worse during the holiday season.  We expect our holiday to be perfect and when it isn’t we are very disappointed if not depressed.  How can we avoid this?

  • Lower your expectations.
  • Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have
  • Think about what is good
  • Do something nice for someone else everyday
  • Volunteer to help those in need by visiting a nursing home, homeless shelter, church or synagogue, animal shelter, etc.  Give to others!
  • Exercise more
  • Plan ahead! Make a schedule doing the things you enjoy the most.
  • Avoid isolation.  If you have to, go to a park or place where there are people.  Don’t stay in your home alone.
  • Keep yourself busy with projects over the holidays.  Find something to make, fix, write, or create.
  • Ask friends and family for help! Sometimes people are too busy to notice how lonely you are.  Don’t be afraid to say something.  Most people want to help but need to be asked.
  • Avoid activities that trigger loneliness.  If a sad movie makes you more depressed, avoid sad movies.  If going to a restaurant by yourself reminds you of being alone, don’t do it.
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