Loneliness can become more intense during the holidays, especially if you’ve recently lost a loved one, experienced a break up, moved to a new place, or are struggling with your mental health. And while being apart from others can cause you to feel lonely, you might be constantly around others and still feel lonely.
Anyone can get lonely – extroverted or not – and many surveys shows over half of adults in the US are lonely. Not only can loneliness make you feel bad in the short run, it can increase stress, cause you to age faster, change your brain chemistry, and more.
Here are six tips for managing holiday loneliness.
1. Connect With Loved Ones Through Technology
If distance is keeping you apart from your loved ones, don’t hesitate to use technology to connect. Video calls are a great way to feel closer with family and friends who can’t be near.
2. Take Care of Your Mental and Physical Health Needs
An unhealthy body can contribute to an unhealthy mind. And if you don’t feel your best inside or out, you likely won’t feel up to connecting with others. Winter can exuberate these feelings- especially when it’s especially chilly or snowy outside. However, if you’re thriving and taking care of yourself, you’ll be more open to new interactions and experiences.
3. Connect With Others Who Are Lonely
Do you have an aunt, coworker, or friend who has been incredibly buried in work, experiencing a hardship, or disconnected from their social circle? Understand that you’re not the only one experiencing loneliness, and if you know someone who is alone this holiday season, reaching out to them or inviting them to holiday events with you is a great way to feel more connected and strengthen the relationship.
4. Work on Gratitude and Giving
Helping others and increasing gratitude can help you improve your mindset and feel more connected with your loved ones and others. From helping your parents put up the lights to volunteering at your local food pantry, giving your time and resources can boost your mood and remedy loneliness.
5. Share How You’re Feeling
If you feel alone, don’t keep it inside. This will only make you feel more isolated. Tell a loved one you feel lonely, or that you simply need to talk.
6. Get Help From a Behavioral Health Professional
Loneliness can compound and make you feel anxious or depressed. Reach out to a behavioral health professional who can helpRead More on How to Manage Loneliness During the Holidays