Don’t Go It Alone
The tendency is to isolate ourselves and seek the shelter of television and snack foods to beat back loneliness and depression; however, the best way to deal with loneliness is to call on friends to have small outings to the mall, to parks, or for coffee. By enjoying the company of friends, we place less focus of what we’re missing and more on what we’ve got.
Talk It Out
We often believe that in the middle of celebrations, we don’t want to “bring others down” by sharing that we are lonely, depressed, or grieving. It is imperative that when we have these feelings, we let others that we trust know. For those who feel vulnerable telling friends their personal information, hotlines operate year-round, but go into overdrive to offer a helpful ear during the holidays. Use them.
Focus on You
Holiday blahs can cause many to overindulge in food, alcohol and idleness. To avoid the complications of overindulging, work to get proper exercise, sleep, and hydration (water) during this period. For those who may also be experiencing anxiety, practice medication or deep breathing exercises to calm yourself.
Be the Blessing You Need
Like Grady, volunteering your time to help others takes the focus off of what you are missing and redirects it into the things you are still capable of doing for others. Holidays are often called the season of giving, because there is always a way for you to help someone else and ease the pain associated with loneliness, grief, and depression.
Give Yourself a Break
Too often we are hyper-critical with ourselves and believe that our feelings are unjustified. Grief, depression, and loneliness are all parts of the normal human condition and each takes time to work through. In cases of grief, the holidays will most likely remain a time when loss is remembered – but can eventually become a time when family remember fondly and share stories of those missing members. The key is giving yourself time to grieve – however long that may be – and working to avoid isolating yourself from those who still love and need you.