How to cope with loneliness during the festive season
While there’s a big focus on spending time with loved ones for the festive season, it’s not easy if you feel alone.
“Christmas is a time when family and friends come together,” explains Psychologist and Chief Operating Officer of Lysn, Tahnee Schulz. “Christmas ads, songs and pleasantries reinforce the expectations that we will be surrounded by people we love and that love us. However, for many people Christmas only reminds them of loved ones they have lost or are separated from.”
Often, Christmas time heralds remarkable change in our social life. Friends and co-workers often go away to spend time with family and if you don’t have anyone to share Christmas with, you can feel very isolated as others congregate together.
So, when everyone is planning quality time with friends and family, how do you cope when you don’t have that support network? Tahnee helps break down some strategies to help us when we’re feeling lonely during the holidays.
Care for yourself
The first thing Tahnee recommends is remembering that you’re not alone in feeling lonely over Christmas, so give yourself some self-care.
“Do things that make you feel good – the small stuff counts. Buy a magazine and sit in the sun, run a bubble bath, write that bucket list,” Tahnee says.
You may have heard it before, but Tahnee suggests taking time out to really treat yourself.
“Do something special for yourself that you’ve always wanted to do – you are precious! Go to a day spa or join a group tour,” she says.
When you’re not feeling great, it might be worth volunteering at a local shelter.
“You’d be surprised how many wonderful people you can meet by volunteering,” Tahnee says.
Make a human connection
“Often your local church or community centre will have a celebration, so pop down and mingle with other people,” Tahnee says.
This can be a great way to cultivate human connections around Christmas time if you're feeling particularly isolated.
Give yourself a break
If you want to get away but don’t want to go alone, Tahnee suggests booking a group holiday.
“Look into a group travel with a bunch of like-minded adventurers,” Tahnee says.