6 Proven Ways to Cope with Christmas Loneliness

How to Cope with Christmas Loneliness
The holidays are a joyful time for many but some others may also find it to be a difficult time of year. Christmas is always a difficult time for those struggling with loneliness and their mental health, and this year more people than ever are struggling.

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The holidays are a joyful time for many but some others may also find it to be a difficult time of year. Christmas is always a difficult time for those struggling with loneliness and their mental health, and this year more people than ever are struggling.

7 Common Reasons The Holidays Can Make You Feel Lonely

  1. You live far away from your family or friends and cannot travel to see them.
  2. Pandemic restrictions or the fear of spreading the virus are not allowing you to see everybody you normally do.
  3. You already feel lonely from isolation during the pandemic and the holidays make this loneliness more apparent.
  4. You’ve lost a loved one and you wish they were here to enjoy the festivities.
  5. You find it hard to open up about your suffering during a time that is supposed to be filled with joy.
  6. You are more aware that you are not feeling the same joy that others are feeling during the holidays.
  7. Christmas and the end of the year force you to engage in excessive self-reflection and think about the inadequacies of life.

Why 2020 Is Especially Difficult For Loneliness

It’s important to acknowledge the impact the pandemic has had on our mental health. In our combined efforts to stay safe and save lives, our usual ways of seeing family and friends have been put on pause.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, public-health experts were concerned about an epidemic of loneliness. Since lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were instated, roughly a third of American adults report feeling lonelier than usual. Another survey put the number even higher, at 47%. 

Furthermore, SocialPro’s survey of people ages 18 to 75 found that at least 20% of respondents from each age group polled were lonelier than usual as a result of coronavirus. Millennials were among the most likely age groups to feel lonely, as 34% of millennials in the survey said they were “always or often” lonelier due to the pandemic.

6 Ways To Cope with Holiday Loneliness (Even During a Pandemic)

1. Practice Self Care

Sometimes you can enjoy your solitude by taking care of yourself. You can make yourself a special dinner, watch a movie you have always wanted to see, listen to your favorite music, go for a hike, learn a new skill, read a good book, and more! 

2. Celebrate Online

If you have long-distance relatives or can’t visit friends or family this year for safety reasons, hosting an online Christmas party can be a great idea! You can do this by setting up a chatroom in Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts. This lets people come and go as they please and might even allow you to introduce different groups of people to each other. 

3. Know That You Are Not Alone

While you may be feeling alone right now, know that you’re not alone: The holidays can be a lonely time for many. Talking to others who may share your feelings can help you to feel less alone in your situation. Facebook groups can be a great place to find people going through similar struggles. 

4. Exercise

Moving your body with exercises such as running, lifting weights, and yoga releases endorphins and helps energizes your mood. Exercising can also help distract you from your isolating feelings and give you the belief that you are doing something good for yourself! There are also huge communities around exercise activities that can help support you and make you feel less lonely.

5. Give Gifts 

Gift-giving is one of the famous activities during the holiday season and it can also help you cope with loneliness. You may feel obligated to get gifts for your family and closest friends, so try giving to other people that might not be expecting anything from you. Seeing a surprised and happy look on somebody’s face might be the extra boost you need.

6. Focus on What You Have

Often the reason for our loneliness and unhappiness roots in our mindset. We focus our thoughts on what we don’t have instead of what we have. Instead, focus your thoughts on what you have instead of what you don’t have, and be grateful for all of your blessings and opportunities. If you want to extend this practice past the holiday season, try starting a gratitude journal.

Find Support For Loneliness

If these strategies don’t seem to be helping, you may need to seek additional support. Our Mental Health Resources Page can help you find therapy, crisis hotlines, helplines, and other helpful websites.

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