Whether you are single or newly single, the holidays can sometime trigger stress rather than celebrating a joyous occasion. Even if you are not single, the holidays can be a stressful time. Sometimes the holiday season or being around certain family members can seem dreadful to attend family gatherings; or the ache of not being able to visit your loved ones during this time can trigger certain emotions. The holidays can bring on additional stress if you are someone who already struggles with loneliness.
Initially, when you hear or glance at the word loneliness, the immediate thought or image can be of someone who is single, don’t have someone to share their life with, and etc… However, that is not true. Loneliness is not based on someone’s marital or social status; rather it is an emotional state of feeling a sense of lack, void, or emptiness. Being Alone or Aloneness seems more action oriented rather than a feeling. Aloneness and loneliness are not interchangeable. There’s quite a distinction between loneliness and aloneness.
Loneliness vs. Aloneness
- Regardless of someone’s marital or social status, loneliness can be present in that person’s life. For example, someone can be happily single (being alone) vs. someone who is married and have a great career and they can experience loneliness.
- A person can feel lonely, even if they are surrounded by groups of people.
- Someone can enjoy being alone and embrace the solitude space.
These are just a few examples. As you can see, loneliness seems more of an internal/emotional state. It can be a feeling of internal isolation/emptiness that gnaws or nag at a person’s soul or inner being.
Being alone can be seen as external or action oriented that is necessarily not rooted in feelings or emotions. Being alone can provide great beneficial opportunities to connect/reconnect with yourself. Through solitude activities, such as prayer, mediation, quiet relaxation, reading a book, writing, and etc. Time alone can help you recharge physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It is possible to be alone without feeling lonely; and it is possible to feel lonely with without being alone. Which one will you choose?
Suggestions/Recommendations to Overcome Loneliness
1. Connect With Family & Friends
- Spend time with family and friends and make an effort to engage in conversations when you around them. Try not to remain isolated or distant to the people around you.
- If you don’t have any plans for the holiday season; call or reach out to a friend or family member.
- If possible, volunteer your time in local community with civic organizations or group. Giving back can lift up your spirit.
- You can invite a friend (s) over and enjoy each other company.
- Bring or make a dish to a holiday gathering and share your contribution with everyone.
- What are some other ways can you connect or reconnect with yourself and others?
2. Don’t Be Down On Yourself
- If you are around family and friends during the holiday at a family gathering. Especially, if you are a single individual and you see other couples around you; and feelings of loneliness begins to creep in your mind, because, you don’t have someone to share the holidays with. Instead of getting in negative self-talk mode or comparison; look for the positive traits you admire in that couple and hold that vision for yourself. Don’t think less of yourself, because, you are not in a romantic relationship at the moment.
- Think of some of the benefits of being single at this time?
- Think of the things that you are grateful/thankful for … what are you grateful for in this moment? (go ahead, think of one thing you are grateful for, right now).
4. Reframe Your Thoughts
- When you notice a negative/self-defeating thought; change it to a positive.
- Read a funny book or watch a funny movie to shift you out of negative state of mind. “Laughter is the best medicine”.
5. Positive Affirmations
- “Affection is mutually created and mutually received”
- “I love and appreciate myself”
- “I am surrounded by love and all is well”
- “Today, I open my mind, my heart, my being to receive the flow of divine love.”
- “I am an expression of all that is love”
- Create your own affirmations.
- “I am love being loved”
- “I release all thoughts, doubts and fears that is not possible”
- “I radiate love and happiness”
- “I am positively connected and harmonious with the family of life”
- “I have great conversations with other people”
Hopefully, you found this information helpful. It is my hope that this awareness will decrease eliminate loneliness and increase self-love. Enjoy the upcoming holidays!