The holidays can be difficult to manage because we’re often told that we should be happy, joyful, even merry and bright. Our lives are supposed to be like Hallmark Holiday commercials and movies that resemble a well-decorated snow globe and be surrounded by everyone we know. This isn’t the case for many of us. In fact, many of us experience the complete opposite. We don’t expect perfection, but we know we want a change this year.
Before we begin, do know that I’m not a mental health professional. If you’re feeling deep sadness, depression, struggling with sobriety, struggling with thoughts of self-harm or harming others, etc. Know that you are not alone and you can call or chat with someone from the suicide crisis hotline here. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org This is the hotline for the U.S. Click here for a list of international hotlines.
5 Ways to Avoid Loneliness And Have The Best Holiday Season
1. Quit Comparing Your Life To Others.
Comparison is the thief of joy because you automatically regret your life and wish for what you see without knowing the whole story behind your friend’s and family’s photos. You also are comparing your reality to someone else well-edited highlights through a bright screen. Of course, their life looks better because it’s not the whole truth in its truest colors. Stay off social media for a bit.
As for those Hallmark Christmas movies, as someone who has spent time on a set, baby that Hallmark house has no ceiling, the actors and dog is trained, the presents are well-wrapped empty boxes, and the snow is fake. Sorry to burst your bubble, but one of the ways to beat feelings of loneliness is to know that your reality is good enough.
2. Talk To Friends And Family About Your Loneliness.
You’d be surprised to know that people who have friends still feel lonely. Those who care about you surely wouldn’t want you to feel lonely. Good friends and family provide a safe space to have a discussion about how you feel during this time and might even offer solutions. If you want to spend a part of the holidays with them, speak up and ask them over or go over to their house and bring a dish or drink.
3. Make New Traditions.
Whether or not you have reliable friends and family, celebrate and enjoy your holiday in any public space that is open. Some people have Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner at Chinese restaurants or any place that is owned by those who may not celebrate holidays the same way we do in the U.S. or Canada. It just helps to be around people, even if you don’t know them.
If going out isn’t your thing, start a new tradition at home. Buy or order whatever you want to eat the day before, create a movie marathon list, get some board games or a jigsaw puzzle, get some cozy pj’s and socks, and make it an awesome day in. Call friends over to hang out with you and make it a super-cool nontraditional holiday extravaganza.
4. Spend Time With The Sick And Less-Fortunate.
The holidays can be difficult for those who can’t be home or who don’t have a home to go to. It is a lonely and difficult time for people in this position and they could use a friendly face with a bright spirit.
You may also have a family member who is already sick or you have lost a loved one and it can be hard dealing with that during the holidays.
5. Have An Attitude of Gratitude.
This is the time of year to take time to count your blessings. Count what went well this year. What did you overcome. What was new In what ways was this year better than last year’ If last year was better, then journal what was great about it and how to possibly have a repeat of that. Count the small things with the big things dismissing nothing. Downplay nothing. It all counts because somebody out there is missing what you have or has no idea of its existence.
If you want to plan your awesome holiday ahead of time, download the OOt Social app for a list of venues and restaurants in your area.
From the OOt Team