The holidays are often associated with joyous, celebratory moments spent with family and friends. But for many, it’s also a time that can conjure up deep feelings of loneliness and depression. This is especially true for seniors, empty nesters or those who don’t have loved ones to connect with. Expectations and comparisons run rampant during this time of year, which can be a serious trigger for those who are more isolated. If you’re dreading the upcoming season, here are some helpful ways to assist you in coping with loneliness during the holidays.
Reach Out to Connect with Someone
Rather than feed into your loneliness and isolation, reach out to a friend or even a neighbour. It might feel difficult to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to others, but this is the best way to override your isolation. Even something as simple as connecting with a friend over a cup of coffee or a walk can help to distract your thoughts and help you feel positive instead.
Avoid Social Media
Social media is a major contributing factor to feelings of inadequacy and depression since it forces us to constantly compare our lives with others. But it’s important to remember that what you see and what people post is often far from their reality. If you find yourself feeling bad when you flip through Facebook or Instagram, limit your time spent on social media. Start by turning off notifications so you’re not as tempted to look, and find other activities to do when you’re bored.
Focus on Self Care
Self care is all about giving yourself some love, which is so important to do – especially during the winter season. Start doing meditation and deep breathing every day. Spend more time outside in nature, even if it’s a quick walk. Write out a list of things you love and enjoy – listening to music, painting, cooking, talking to friends on the phone – and do these activities more often. And treat yourself to something on a regular basis, whether it’s a fancy meal or a spa day at home.
Volunteering is a great way breakthrough loneliness because it allows you to meet new people, contribute to a cause and recognize how fortunate you really are. There are always organizations looking for volunteers, especially around the holidays. Search online or in your local grocery store bulletin.
Speak with a Counsellor
Speaking with a therapist can assist you in exploring the emotions that you’re feeling, understand why you’re feeling them, and ultimately, learn how to manage, cope and find ways to alleviate them.Ottawa Counselling here to assist you in getting through the holidays. If you’ve been struggling with loneliness or depression, reach out today to set up an appointment.