For most people the holidays mean being surrounded by friends and family and enjoying age-old holiday traditions together. However sometimes if you’re single, not close to your family or live in a different city, the holidays can feel lonely. When you feel lonely it can be easy to start engaging in depressive behaviours such as overeating, oversleeping and over drinking. If you’re looking for ways out of this slump try the following steps.
- Stop avoidance behaviours. Instead of withdrawing and numbing the loneliness by sleeping or eating, try to connect with someone. Pick up the phone and call an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, message a friend on Facebook to plan a coffee date or even try joining meetup.com for some fun outings in your area.
- Focus on what you can control. Instead of focusing on something you can’t control, like living alone, focus on changing your habits. Get out of your house more. Instead of sleeping in try to get up early and take a walk and feel the brisk air on your face. You can also walk to a café and get your favourite warm drink; try to relish in the people surrounding you.
- Create connections. If you’re single you can try online dating, reconnect with old friends even if it’s just on Facebook. We live in a very social world which can feel overwhelming and daunting at times, but take advantage of this when you’re feeling lonely. Also keep in mind that just because people are posting happy pictures by the Christmas tree does not mean their lives are better than yours or that they’re any less lonely.
- Make the best of staying in by doing the things that make you happy. Read your favourite book, make some hot chocolate or tea and wrap yourself in a big blanket. You can also play Christmas carols, run a bubble bath and do your nails. When you’re feeling lonely instead of over indulging in food or drinks, take the time to do things you don’t usually have time to do that make you happy. This can even be a good time to clean the house.
- Think of the good. Instead of focusing on being alone and thinking that everyone else must be having a great time, think of the reasons you’re happy to be where you are. Instead of being at home, you could be at a stressful family gathering where you feel disconnected. Instead you’re at home and you get to do whatever you want and cook whatever you want and relish in the stillness.
When you’re surrounded by images in the media of perfect happy families during the holidays it can be easy to start to feel lonely and like you’re missing out. Instead of focusing on what others are doing and things that you cannot control, try to be proactive by getting out and meeting new people and pampering yourself.
The Toronto Neurofeedback and Psychotherapy Centre offers counselling services. Click here to learn more and to book an appointment to get support.