A Guide To Spending The Holidays Alone
If many of us are alone, then everywhere around the world, we’re all kind of alone - together. The holiday season is here and its okay if you're feeling a little lonely
It’s nearly that time of the year where everyone wants to be with their family and friends, and it’s all anyone’s talking about.
Apart from the façade of having your life put together and all the plans you feel pressured to make, sometimes the holiday season loneliness, whatever the reason may be, tends to just hit differently. But it’s okay because many of us are alone during the holidays and these feelings are normal.
What if the holidays are just made up things? Wouldn’t that mean you can just make them whatever you want them to be?
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Every family, community, or person has their own take on the holiday season. Yeah, sure, there’s a dominant narrative in the media that says that Christmas is for loved ones and all. Someone came up with that idea. You happen to be a someone - you can come up with your own idea of what the holidays mean.
Your choices are yours to make, and your life belongs only to you. Others may not understand why you have your phone is off or why you spent your days watching movies and eating snacks” or “crying,” but it’s not for anyone to understand.
“One is the loneliest number, but two can be just as bad as one.”
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“Feelings of isolation and loneliness also tend to be heightened during the holidays, especially for those who have recently lost a loved one or those who don’t have a strong network of friends and family.”
An article published by Cedars Sinai, clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Wetter notes
One may be the loneliest number, but it may also be the freest number. If you want to do nothing, that’s cool. You don’t have to force yourself to get into plans that you don’t want to be part of. However, it may not be a bad idea to be around people that you feel safe around.
You Can Find Joy In Your Solitude
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You could locate the holiday spirit in act of service. Happiness researchers have found that volunteers often walk away with better mental well-being. It's a win-win.
"When we engage in acts of altruism, it helps the person we're helping, but research shows that it has mental benefits for the giver, too."
says Jonathan Kanter, a psychologist who heads the University of Washington's Center for the Science of Social Connection.
Are You Feeling Overcome By Loneliness?
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In the case that you can’t shake the feeling of loneliness of the holidays, reach out. Ask a friend if that invitation they casually extended still stands. Or in anticipation of this feeling, you can even plan your own little do.
“There are thirty-five point seven million single-person households, composing twenty-eight percent of all households.” If you find yourself feeling a certain way towards talking about it, there’s a whole community out there for you. The Loneliness Project is an online platform where you can read about individuals’ experiences and share your own. You can even submit anonymously if you want.
There Are People Ready To Help
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Alternatively, seek a support app, text service, hotline, or social media service that will be able to offer assistance. There are many twenty -four hour services that are ready to hear you out at any time of the day. You’re not alone. Support is only a reach away.
If you know anyone who is spending the holidays alone, make sure to check in on them. Maybe give them a call or text, or you could alternatively send them a small something to let them know you're thinking about them.