Day 5: How to survive during the Holidays when you feel alone

Christmas is a pretty merry time of year. It’s always a time to reflect and be thankful. I’m thankful for many things, but a loving family is top on my list.

However, for some of you who are going through this Christmas without family I know from previous personal experience that this can be tremendously rough. This post is for you.

While there are many ways to be happy on your own, I think there’s something about the festiveness of it all that gets people down if they feel alone. For some it can be a very low point.

My heart goes out to those who might find themselves alone. If this time of year is getting you down here are some suggestions that may help:

1. Seek family and friends. When we’re feeling lonely, often the best comfort is the presence of loved ones. If possible, seek out their company, and spend some quality time with family and friends.

2. Forgive. Sometimes what is stopping us from making connections with loved ones is the walls we put up. Maybe we’re holding a grudge or there’s bad feeling about something that happened in the past. The only thing keeping us from healing those wounds, and building that bridge, is ourselves. Take the leap of faith and connect. Forgive them, and just reach out. Make that connection. It’s Christmas. Forgive.

3. Open yourself to meeting new people. Another thing that stops us from making those connections with people is that we put up walls between us and those we don’t know well. Perhaps there are co-workers or other colleagues that could be good friends, but we close ourselves off.  Resolve to change that. Open yourself up, and reach out. Sure, it won’t always work out, but it will never work out if you don’t give it a shot.

4. Volunteer. Nothing can remind us about the true spirit of Christmas as well as serving food to the less fortunate. It makes us realize how lucky we are, and we feel good that we are helping our fellow human beings. Take some time during the holidays to volunteer your time to a good cause.

5. Avoid excessive alcohol. Many people resort to drink this time of year. Instead of bringing the numbness they seek, it usually leads to a greater sense of depression. Drink in moderation.

6. Keep things simple. The holidays can be merry, but more often than not they’re filled with more activities than we can handle. Instead, simplify your life during the holiday season and reduce instead of increase the amount of stuff you do. You will be less stressed and happier for it.

7. Focus on what makes you happy. Perhaps the most important tip of all: instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have and what makes you happy. If you focus on that, that will be your reality.

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