When people think of Christmas, they would usually imagine a scenario where all family members are gathered together and having a wonderful time at home. Many of us can feel pressured by this notion, especially when we’re going through a rough time, such as loss of a loved one, divorce or separation, and other personal reasons.
That is why it is not surprising to see that 45% of the adult population feel isolated and depressed. Some people live very far away from their families and miss seeing their loved ones, especially during this festive season. For others, it is a dreadful time to attend holiday parties because they do not have a partner or just feel emotionally distant from others.
Severe feelings of loneliness can also affect people in various ways. Research suggests that the certain parts of the brain treat being socially excluded the same way as physical pain. A study also found that lonely people exhibit symptoms of depression.
Moreover, individuals who are feeling depressed tend to feed off of others who feel the same way. Also, several studies show that people who are emotionally stressed are more prone to many health problems.
So, to prevent these negative situations from happening, here are several ways you can cope with loneliness during the holidays.
When you are not keeping yourself busy, there is a good chance you will become depressed. So make plans and carry out them out. Start by having an activity for each day of the week. Then gradually set long-term goals until you remove yourself from inactivity.
If you just spend your time lying in bed and dwelling on negative thoughts, you will find yourself stuck in a loop. Instead of asking yourself, “Why is my life miserable?” or “Why do I feel so empty?” just go outside of the house and explore your surroundings.
The most efficient way to deal with loneliness is to seek the company of other people. Go out and meet with friends over coffee. You can join groups who share your interests. When you are out and about, you will easily overcome the urge to stay isolated.
Do not be afraid to share.
If you trust someone, do not hesitate to tell them you are feeling down. Sharing your feelings and being honest will make it easier for others to help you cope with loneliness.
Do some volunteer work.
Helping other people is a great way to feel better about yourself. You can volunteer to help homeless people or serve food in a soup kitchen. You can also visit elderly folks and spend time with them. There are many local charities which can really use your help.
Refrain from drinking alcohol.
When people are lonely, they are more prone to abusing alcohol. Remember that alcohol is a depressant and it will only amplify your feelings of depression. Instead, you should take good care of yourself by exercising and eating healthy. Do whatever it takes to relieve stress.
Manage your expectations.
The reason why holidays can get so overwhelming is because many of us create such unrealistic expectations during this time of year. Being far away from loved ones or not being in a relationship can make us feel lonelier than we should be. However, being alone should not be viewed as something to be ashamed of.
There are many things you can do to turn your life around. No matter what you decide to do, you must realize that you are not really alone. Remember, the holiday season will eventually pass. But there is a big world out there just waiting for you. So go out there and explore it.
I would love to hear from you! How do you deal with feelings of stress and loneliness during the holidays? What do you to make yourself feel better? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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