One of the misnomers about the holidays is that it’s all apple pies and smiling relatives, for a lot of people the holidays are some of the loneliest days of the years— myself included. As I sit here writing this, I’m getting choked up because it's not usually a topic many people discuss openly and honestly because nobody wants to rain on anyone’s Rose Bowl parade.
Loneliness is a real emotion packed with a lot of past trauma that has yet to dissolve, it doesn’t matter how much self-care or meditation you do, or how “evolved” you’ve become, it still hurts from time to time and it probably always will to some degree.
Loneliness is an all encompassing state of mind and if don’t yank out of it, we could be headed for a real psychological disaster.
So in lieu of trying to pull myself out of the holiday funk (and hopefully yours), I felt it was necessary to figure out a way to liven the spirit and make the best of this 2016 holiday season.
Talk to Your Best Friends
As if we didn’t lean on them enough, best friends are the superstars when it comes to help you combat the loneliness during the holiday season. They’ve been your ear to lean on for many heart wrenching experiences and while they might be busy feasting and socializing with their family this holiday, it doesn’t mean they aren't free for at text message session or an over-the-phone spiked eggnog chat to listen and be supportive while you’re coping with the loneliness.
Adopt a Pet
If you already have a furry friend, then you’re really not alone at all. That little guy (or girl) is there to wag it’s tag, lick your toes, and snuggle up with you this holiday season anytime you feel like it! If you currently don’t have a pet and you’re feeling the holiday blues, perhaps it’s time to think about getting one!
There are so many great charities out there looking to find homes for their furry friends! I bet if you posted something on Facebook, you’d get a zillion responses of people who could help you find the perfect pet for you!
Create Your Own Holiday Ritual
Families generally have their holiday rituals set in stone, and new families are in the early stages of figuring out what their holiday customs will look like in the years to come, but there is no reason why you can create your very own holiday rituals too!
Just imagine for a moment… you could create your own healthy meal, one that doesn’t make you feel so bloated and gross afterwards that all you want to do is sleep (that and because you don’t want to hear all the weird conversations that are going on while watching Football). Just think, you won’t have to watch football if you don’t want to! Maybe this holiday ritual includes watching Bad Santa 4 times and laughing your ass off at how crude and hilarious Billy Bob Thornton is!
Take a Road Trip
Maybe you’re single or maybe you and your beau just want to start living life on your terms, taking a road trip could just be the event that lifts your spirits. A road trip is the ultimate detox from any depression or anxiety you might be experiencing the holiday season.
I just love watching the scenery go by when you’re driving down the freeway towards your destination. There is something freeing about that experience and a great distraction when you’re trying to change the lonely state of mind that plagues us during the holidays.
Load Up on Citrus
Yeah, it might sound weird, but loading up on antioxidant foods like lemons, limes, and oranges is one of the quickest ways to curing the blues! Citrus fruits help to create glycogen in the brain so that your brain doesn’t shrink (that’s when depress and anxiety symptoms creep in), as well as nourishes the gut where a lot of past trauma is store. I like to drink my warm lemon water in the morning and eat a few tangelos during the day or squeeze lime on my sautéed veggies.
Just know that while you might be feeling lonely this holiday season, you’re never alone.
There are millions of people who are fighting the loneliness every year. Some are missing their grandparents who passed, widowed, or are newly single, but the real problem with fighting the holiday blues is that we fail to think that anyone is experiencing the same thing; when I assure you they are.
The best we can do is acknowledge how we feel and know that it’s okay. Confide in those who understand your circumstance and feel into the vulnerability. No one's perfect and we all have our dark days, ours just happened to come into full effect when everyone is wearing sequins and hanging their stockings.
Every day is a gift that deserves to be celebrated with people who truly love you. You don't need a blood family to enjoy the holidays, you've got friends and furry friends who really love you and want to see you happy. Take that in and do you best to try and feel their love.