Christmas is without a doubt the most wonderful time of year in my book! I love everything about it (with the exception of all the hyper-consumerism). It’s not only the joy of Christmas, but it’s the entire season of holidays and festivities that bring such a blessed feeling.
Above all, I am so grateful for the presence of my family.
However, today my heart is burdened for those who are lonely. You may be going through this holiday season without family, or anyone for that matter, and I imagine that is an extremely difficult thing. On the other side of the coin, the very thing that causes me to rejoice today, could be the thing that causes you the most pain.
This is not to say that all of those who are alone are unhappy. I just think for some, this time of year has the potential to be a spring board into loneliness and depression.
And to those who are lonely, here are some encouraging suggestions:
1. Embrace and Forgive. We don’t necessarily have to be alone to experience loneliness. It could be in the midst of family gathering or large company parties, that the intense feeling of loneliness sets in! Perhaps you are mourning the loss of a dear loved one? I challenge you to embrace those around you. And if it is forgiveness that is needed, give it freely (whether it be toward others or yourself). We are not promised more than today.
2. Volunteer. George Matthew Adams said, “Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open-heart that thinks of others first.” The true spirit of Christmas is realized when we serve those who are less fortunate than us. Volunteering helps us to realize how blessed we truly are, not to mention the good feeling we get from helping others. Open your heart to those around you that may be feeling just as lonely. Trust me, there is a local organization still in need of volunteers during these holidays.
3. Keep it simple but festive. In an attempt to ward off any unnecessary stress, attempt to keep it simple but festive. On top of everything else on the to-do list, multiple holiday parties and get-together’s can send us into overdrive. It’s all about balance! I suggest getting into the Christmas mood by:
- attending a few parties with close friends
- playing Christmas music
- decorating your home
- celebrating another year of life
Remaining simply festive just may help in healing your heart.
4. Spend time with friends who may be lonely too. Complementary to suggestion 3, spend time with those in your life who are like-minded and may be lonely also. Opening yourself up to others can provide encouragement and a platform for sharing similar life experiences. But don’t wait to be invited…you do the inviting:)
5. Avoid excessive indulgences. Many times when we feel lonely we resort to one of two things: overeating or alcohol. However, indulging in these two things will never fill the void we are experiencing. Instead, we know that these things lead to a deeper depressed state. Key word here: moderation.
6. Pursue those things that make you come alive and live your passion. The new year is coming. Spend this time, over the holidays, considering those things that make you come alive! Set new, attainable goals, join the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge, and start living your passion!
How do you combat loneliness during the holiday season?
Disclaimer: Please remember that these suggestions are only my opinion, I’m no professional. If you find yourself in a really bad spot, please seek professional assistance.
Inspiration for this post came from this post.