Everyone always talks about easing anxiety or loneliness during the holidays. Not many people talk about what to do once friends and family are gone after the holidays and that lonely feeling greets us again. The holidays can be a stressful time, but we often spend them with the people we feel closest to. Whether they are relatives or friends, we are surrounded by loved ones. What do we do when the holiday festivities quiet and we are back in our day-to-day lives? Here are some tips to combat the feelings of loneliness that come about after the holidays.
Keep in Touch With Your Family and Friends
The source of your feelings of loneliness more often than not comes from the sudden change from being surrounded by loved ones for a prolonged period to having a normal or small amount of time being around them. This feeling of loneliness is common and completely normal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an unfortunate feeling. To stop yourself from feeling this way or to lessen its intensity, it’s a good idea to make a plan. Make a plan to contact your friends and family after the holidays. Try to keep it consistent. Call your best friend once a week and catch up. Set up a time to meet with your family members.
Keep track of what plans you make on a calendar. Being able to see how often you are seeing your loved ones will be a visual reminder that you are not alone. The visual reminder and active engagement with your loved ones are perfect ways to combat loneliness. It’s not uncommon for families to prioritize the holidays as times to see each other. You should make an effort to break this habit. Let your loved ones know that you all should see each other regularly throughout the year. Keeping these relationships close is important for a healthy state of mind.
Do Activities That Make You Feel Good
Having hobbies is a great way to combat loneliness after the holidays. Pick one you currently like, one you have always wanted to try, or an old one you set aside. Occupying your time with activities gives you less downtime. This gives you less time to think of what you could be doing with other people. If you are enjoying yourself, you are less likely to think of yourself lonely.
Hobbies also give you the ability to meet new people or stay engaged with your loved ones. If your friend shares a hobby with you, make plans to do that hobby together. Take a painting class together. Start a book club. Do silly science experiments together. As long as you are doing something fun with a person you feel close to, you will scarcely feel lonely.
Be careful always doing hobbies on your own. You want to avoid turning your hobbies into mediums for isolation. It’s beneficial to you to try and have social hobbies. If your hobbies aren’t typically social, find ways to make them so. Book clubs, gaming competitions, writing workshops, etc. are great examples of private hobbies being made public to avoid isolation.
Try Participating in Volunteer Work or Group Therapy
If loneliness is still a feeling you are experiencing, try volunteering at a local shelter or with a school. Finding ways to spend your free time gives you the ability to take your mind off of that lonely feeling. Participating in volunteer work also helps you find a sense of fulfillment in yourself and meet new people. If you don’t like working in crowds, try volunteering with an animal shelter. Volunteer at a homeless or youth center to have more social interactions.
What if volunteering isn’t for you? Some people feel a lot of anxiety when volunteering, and that is perfectly valid. There are other ways to get out and socialize. Group therapy is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. On one hand, you are actively participating in social situations and meeting people. On the other hand, you can focus on the feelings you have and share them with people who are experiencing similar feelings.
Talk to a Therapist About Your Feelings
If you find that your feelings of loneliness persist after these tips, it is a good idea to talk to a therapist. Loneliness is a natural feeling for all of us, especially after the holidays. However, persistent feelings of loneliness can be detrimental to your mental health, and you should do all you can to protect your well-being. A therapist can listen to your experience in a low-stress, judgment-free environment and give you coping mechanisms to accept your feelings and commit to a plan to better yourself.
Mindfuli knows how hard it is to feel lonely after the holidays, but you don’t have to go through this lonely time on your own. By speaking with a counselor or therapist, you can take a step toward protecting your mental health. They can give you strategies to talk to your family about your feelings. You can take the steps necessary to give yourself a life of happiness and friendship. Therapy is a perfect way to find an understanding of yourself and your life. Loneliness doesn’t have to define your life after this holiday season. It’s time to look toward change. You are capable of beautiful and amazing things. For more information about Mindfuli’s services, call us at (866) 973-4415.