The holiday season is generally thought of as the “most wonderful time of the year”, but for many of us, it can be a time of loneliness or stress. Some people live far from family and miss seeing their loved ones this time of year. It’s also common for us to feel emotional distance, thus feeling lonely even if we’re in a room full of people. Christmas often holds a lot of memories and expectations for us that cannot be met this year.
If you’re experiencing loneliness or stress during this holiday season, the following suggestions might help:
1. Realize that you’re not alone. Many others are feeling the same way you are. It’s common to be blue during this time of year and it can help to simply acknowledge to yourself that you feel down, and that’s ok.
2. Try to divert your attention from all the Christmas fuss by following your regular routines. Try to get regular rest, exercise, and don’t overeat or drink excessively.
3. When you feel worst about yourself, it often helps most to reach out appreciate or help others. Put the focus on those around you who are in a similar situation and offer them what you can: kind words, a listening ear, a small gift, or even just a hug.
4. Use the stresses of this time of year to motivate you to improve in the New Year. Evaluate 2009: where you have been, where you are at, and make a plan for how to get where you want to be in 2010.
Lastly, take it easy on yourself. If none of the previous tips help, you can always apply a simple but useful wisdom to this holiday season: this too shall pass.