The holidays are a great time to catch up with friends and family and take time to reflect on the year. However, if you don’t have many close friends or family members, this can be an incredibly lonely time. All of the festivities that take place during this season can be a painful reminder of what is lacking in your life. This can also be a very difficult time if you’ve recently lost a loved one or you were fired or laid off from your job. During this season, your problems can seem a hundred times bigger than they are. Know that the pain won’t last forever. You can get over this hurdle. Here are a few ways to beat the holiday blues.
Find ways to connect
If you’re feeling down and lonely, find ways to be around other people. Locate volunteer opportunities in your community or reach out to a neighbor who may be spending the holidays alone. Explore opportunities for sharing your time and talents. Websites like VolunteerMatch can help you get started. This site allows you to search for volunteer opportunities by topic. Now is a great time to explore their holiday volunteer listings.
“People whose focus is on helping others, not just getting for themselves, are people who are happiest and most fulfilled. People who are generous and thoughtful of others are less anxious, less depressed, and feel more connected with their community,” said psychologist and marriage and family counselor Marie Hartwell-Walker.
Also make an effort to communicate throughout the year and not just during the holiday season. It’s easy to make a phone call or send a card when everyone is in the holiday spirit, but it means a lot more when you remember someone on an ordinary day.
Don’t buy into the commercialization of the holidays
The pressure to buy can be overwhelming. Maybe you’re down in the dumps because you can’t afford to buy fancy gifts or you’re experiencing financial difficulty. Remember that the holidays are not just about who can buy the best presents. It’s about giving back, spending time with the ones you love, and taking time to reflect. If money is an issue, tell your friends and family that you would rather skip gifts this year and just enjoy each other’s company. You could also make your own gifts if exchanging presents is really important to you.
“I believe in the intent of the holidays – you can never go wrong setting aside a day to honor and commemorate people you love, respect, and admire…But just because you honor and respect someone doesn’t mean you should have to spend a lot of money to ‘show’ them you care,” said Ryan Guina, founder of Cash Money Life.
Find a pick-me-up
Listen to your favorite music, eat a good meal, go on a movie binge, or watch some cat videos. Do whatever you have to do (as long as it’s not harmful to yourself or others) to help yourself feel better.
Count your blessings
Take a moment to think about all of the things you are grateful for. Even better — write down a list of all of your blessings. Once you get to the end of your list, you may be surprised to see how much you have been overlooking. It’s nice to have the latest tech toys or clothes, but having good health, a place to live, and food to eat are also gifts to be thankful for. These may be basic things, but once one of these gifts is gone, your life can be significantly disrupted. Don’t take what you have for granted.
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