Loneliness during the holidays can creep up on you, no matter your age, making it hard to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. If you are worried about feeling lonely and want to enjoy the holiday season, some of the things you can do include:
The best thing that you can do for your mental health during the holidays is to stay connected. You may feel lonely and be missing someone but locking yourself in your home and being isolated will just make things worse. Find ways to keep connected. Talk on the phone with a friend or a family member. Get a group of friends together to go for cafecito. Find local activities around town to keep you busy. Fill up your schedule and have some fun with other people this season.
You have two choices this holiday season. You can sit around at home, wallowing in pity that you are alone and letting that get the best of you. Or you can get out there and have some fun. When you spend time being active and moving around, you will have more fun and limit the time you spend focusing on the negative. And when you get out of the house, you may find that you spend a good deal of time around other people, which prevents you from being alone.
Do Something You Enjoy
Is there a special tradition that you like to do during the holidays or something new you have always wanted to try? This year is the perfect time to give it a try. The holidays are much better when you have fun, whether you are with others or on your own. Try to fill up your schedule with some exciting new tasks that can keep you busy and put a good smile on your face.
Care for Others
Take attention from yourself and spend time helping out others. You can take the time to be present and nurture some of your current relationships or take the time to volunteer and spend time with others who may not have family members who visit them either. You can help others feel good while improving your mood as well. According to BrainMD.com, doing acts of kindness and helping others is one of the best ways to trigger the release of feel-good endorphins and help us feel good.
Create a Plan
When you are grieving a lost one or about to experience your first holiday season alone, you may worry about feeling triggered and not being able to handle the emotions that show up. If you know that this will happen to you, then come up with a plan to combat it. Schedule calls with family members, invite a friend to come over and hang out or spend the day doing something you love to avoid issues.
Cut Out the Alcohol
While many people want to enjoy a few drinks during the holidays, this can be a bad day if you already feel lonely. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can cause feelings of sadness and depression, which will not help you handle the loneliness that comes with this time of year. Cut back on the alcohol and stay hydrated to help you feel better.
Tiempos Festivos are supposed to be fun and joyous, a time that will bring families together and create amazing memories. But when you are grieving the loss of a loved one or feeling lonely, it is important to come up with a plan and make the holidays your own!
Dr. Patty Jiménez is the Founder of Recetas. She obtained 2 Masters in Theology and Ministry and a Doctorate in Ministry specializing in Latinx theology and ministry. She has over 27 years experience in Catholic Ministry and is a spiritual director and training as a wellness coach.