Joy. Cheer. Merry. Bright.
These are all words that float around this time of year and seem to pressure us to have a good time at every moment. But for some, the holidays bring more stress and amplify loneliness. If this is you or someone you love, here are some tips to beat the blues, or at least keep them at bay.
Reach out. Sometimes we feel that we are the only ones making effort in our relationships. And sometimes this is very true, and yes, it is exhausting and discouraging. But I would encourage you to reach out again. You never know what you might miss out on if you wait around for others to reach out to you. Also, I find that more times than not, it is not personal. People lead very full, busy lives these days, and a relationship with someone getting put on the back burner is usually not because there is something wrong with you. So give your friend that you haven’t heard from in months the benefit of the doubt, and text them an invite to coffee.
Check in with a therapist. Sometimes having a place and a person you can go to and check in with can ease your loneliness. You don’t have to hit rock bottom before going to counseling. Having a space where it’s all about you can be helpful to every area of your life, and propel you into a better mindset where you are able to reach out to more people in your life.
Attend a “Blue Christmas” service. Many churches put on Blue Christmas services this time of year. It is a space for remembrance and hope for those who are lonely or grieving. Find community with people going through similar emotions and experiences. Take a chance and go, you may find a new friend or two. Here is one taking place in the Twin Cities area.
Whatever the reason is that you are feeling lonely over the holidays, try to find some joy and cheer, even if it is only momentary. Remember that building community and relationships never happens overnight, keep up the good work and you will see the reward of your efforts.