Statistics show that close to thirty percent of Americans will experience some level of loneliness during the holidays. I believe the numbers are probably higher this year due to COVID-19, economic uncertainties, unemployment, and the high death toll to name a few. Many households will not look like they normally do during the holiday season where families look forward to coming together to decorate trees, bake cookies, and share family traditions. Christmas will look different. We will not be able to come together the same.
Interesting, loneliness is not confined to a certain time of year. It is also possible that people feel lonely even when they are in a house or a room full of people. Loneliness is an emotion, a state of being and feeling. There are many reasons and triggers that can cause loneliness. When people feel isolated, alone, not heard, or appreciated or even discounted they can feel lonely and think nobody cares. If you feel this way or know someone who does there is hope. This feeling or situation does not have to be permanent. You have the power to change your situation. We all have the power to change our lives and even help others to do the same. Even in tough times we can rise above and see light at the end of the tunnel.
During this holiday season, if you must be alone due to being quarantined or because your friends and loved ones are quarantined, you can still reach out and touch. With technology we can call or zoom those we miss. You can also buy yourself something online, prepare your favorite meal (or have it delivered), and listen to your favorite Christmas music and watch movies that warm your heart. This is also a good time to reach out to someone else in your life that might be alone or feel lonely. Give them a call or send them an unexpected gift in the mail, it might be just what makes a difference in their life.
However, if you feel that your situation calls for professional help or attention, please do not hesitate or be ashamed to seek the help you need. There are many sources available that can help whether it is reaching out to a friend to let them know how you are feeling. Let them know you would appreciate talking or venting with them. If it is a little more serious you can reach out to a counselor or therapist. They will be able to diagnose what would be the best treatment for you. You may need to talk to a professional or they may realize you need medication that will help you. Either way, it all starts with you making that first step and reaching out. You are not alone. There are those who care about you.
When I spoke to some of my friends and colleagues about the subject of loneliness, their main response was they feared dying alone. For some reason, this feeling comes up more during the holidays. Orson Welles said, “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” Death is ultimately one day inevitable, but we can develop friendships and spread as much love as we can to help guarantee we will not be alone.
When I occasionally experience loneliness, I reach out to friends and family, but I ultimately lean on my faith for comfort. As for the holidays, I believe the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus Christ. With Him I am never alone, and it gives me reason to celebrate. He can do the same for you. Merry CHRISTmas!
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Visit www.WendyGladney to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker. She can be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.