Feeling lonely is challenging anytime it happens but experiencing loneliness during the Christmas season can be especially difficult. It’s easy to feel invisible and invaluable during this stage of life on a ‘normal’ day. Unfortunately, the holidays can magnify these feelings. When it seems like everyone else around you is busy visiting family, going to holiday parties, and exchanging gifts, it’s hard to realize that you’re in the throes of loneliness and feeling so out of sorts.
These feelings can be very challenging and impact the “joy” we are somehow expected to experience during the holidays. Along with me, I’d like you to consider some simple strategies to manage your holiday doldrums.
1) Realize that you’re not the only one feeling out of sorts.
Loneliness is an incredibly isolating feeling – however, you aren’t alone in experiencing it! Millions of people deal with the challenges of loneliness every single day. While you may feel like you’re alone, it’s not really the case. There are many other people all around the world who understand exactly what you’re feeling and can relate to your challenges.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to connect with folks who understand, and in the age of the internet, it’s never been easier. This is where our Menopause Support Group comes in. We are all in the same boat and here to walk out this journey with you. Especially during the holidays, this type of camaraderie can be refreshing and relieving.
2) Treat yourself well.
A great way to ease loneliness during the holidays is to practice self-care. This is a choice. As the holiday season is often a time of special occasions, allow yourself to have one – even if you’ll be celebrating alone.
Treating yourself well during a special occasion could mean indulging in some favorite foods, taking long baths and showers or watching your favorite holiday shows. Keeping yourself occupied with these types of pampering and entertainment activities will ease your anxiety while keeping your mind at ease.
3) Reflect on what brings you feelings of gratitude.
Start each day by reminding yourself that each day is a gift. Every breath we breathe is sacred and your life has value. What an astonishment it is to breathe on this breathing planet. In this gratitude, remember people who have helped you along the way, and don’t forget to lift someone up.
Choose to remind yourself of the relationships you still have to enjoy …. your friends and your family who care about you. Allow yourself to reach out for help if you need it rather than isolating yourself.
4) Get familiar with your feelings and emotions.
Feelings and emotions are complex. When you’re feeling big emotions like loneliness, vulnerability or imbalance, you may be surprised to discover that you’re also feeling a wide range of other emotions as well that can exasperate the situation and lead to depression.
Take some time to really examine the causes behind your emotions. This can be an uncomfortable practice (after all, handling those big emotions is a messy business), but getting that deeper understanding can help you determine what needs to be done to get yourself feeling better.
5) Find a way to give back to others.
During the holidays, the needs of others become magnified. Places like your local homeless shelter or food bank experience influxes of needs as the weather becomes colder. A great way to squelch the doldrums is to be a great giver. Go out and volunteer at an organization that blesses others.
Not only will your volunteering get you out of the house and interacting with others, but you’ll be left with feeling a sense of real accomplishment. Because of your volunteering work, you helped someone else get what they needed to feel a little safer and more secure.
These simple strategies are great to incorporate into your life throughout the year. Why not commit to these as a holiday gift to yourself. You’ll be amazed how balanced you will feel as well as having a greater purpose in your life.
Here’s to your happiest holiday season ever.
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