Feeling Lonely During the HolidaysShelby Wall
The holidays commemorate togetherness and love, but they can also be a bit isolating. If you are new to town, have anxiety in social situations, or feel worn out from everything going on, it is easy to disconnect from others. Are you feeling lonely this holiday season?
Here are some of the causes of loneliness during the holidays and healthy steps you can implement to overcome them.
What Causes Holiday Loneliness?
Loneliness affects people in different ways. You could experience it due to:
- Grief from loss: If you had a friend or family member pass away, the holidays magnify how much you miss them.
- Stress: Life can be hectic enough. The holidays can be more overwhelming because of the increased requirements.
- Social anxieties: The holidays can be difficult for those who experience stress associated with socializing. The thought of being in larger crowds, meeting new people, or maintaining the energy of others can wear you out.
What are the Effects of Feeling Lonely?
Loneliness affects your mental and physical health. When you’re feeling lonely, you can become susceptible to:
Loneliness forces your body to make more cortisol–the stress hormone. The more cortisol your body produces, the more anxious and depressed you might feel.
Reduced Cognitive Ability
We are social creatures by nature. And our brain needs these interactions. When we isolate, our thinking becomes less clear. Over time, it can lead to reduced cognitive ability.
It Could Trigger Addictive Behaviors
Feelings lonely, sad, or isolated could result in more compulsive behaviors like overeating, excessive drinking, or drug use. When we feel empty, we turn to things that help us feel something.
How Do I Feel Less Lonely?
If you feel lonely, you can do the following things to feel better:
- Inform someone you know and trust how you’re feeling. Doing so gives you an outlet for sharing how you feel. It also allows others to check in on you.
- Volunteering can reduce stress and help you feel better through positive experiences. These experiences help your body release dopamine. You also gain feelings of belonging and appreciation.
- Take some time for yourself if you feel worn thin. Spend some time each day devoted to a task you want to do, such as drawing, listening to music, going for a walk, or reading a book. Doing these things helps you take a break from the pressures of everyday life.
- Make your health a priority. Maintain daily exercise, eat a well-balanced diet, and receive plenty of sleep. These tips will help you feel better, allowing you to tackle everyday challenges with more energy and clarity.
Are You Feeling Lonely? It’s Okay to Ask for Help.
The holidays can magnify feelings of loneliness. If you feel depressed and need support, feel free to contact us at Serene Behavioral Health. Our approach helps you address the source(s) of your feelings. And develop healthy coping techniques.