Holiday loneliness is a real experience for many people right now. The holidays are traditionally a time to reconnect with friends and family. Yet because of social distancing measures due to COVID-19, connecting with loved ones may look a little different this year.
Although there is little we can do to change the reality of social distancing, there are practical things we can do to help cope with feelings of loneliness during the holidays. Here are some tips from our mental health practice to help with holiday loneliness during COVID-19.
Helpful Tips to Ease Holiday Loneliness
Be kind to yourself.
Feeling lonely is a human emotion that is normal to experience, especially during these times. Use this time to practice self care. Try following these tips from our mental health professionals to reduce holiday stress.
Celebrate the little things.
If you like to put out decorations during the holidays or bake a special recipe, keep your personal traditions alive. Go for a walk or a drive and enjoy the holiday decorations in your neighborhood. If you have the means, have a holiday present delivered to you, or make yourself something special for yourself with things on hand in the house.
Connect with People Online.
Recent technology allows us to connect with our loved ones virtually. Try to be intentional with your screen time and use it to connect with friends and family: have a video call with a friend or with the whole family. Join a forum or online group with people who have similar interests where you can contribute your ideas—find groups for gardeners, pet lovers, car lovers, thrifty home projects, and more.
Get out of the house.
Social interaction with others may not be safe during this epidemic, but nature is still available. Find a walking trail to get some fresh air in your lungs and remind yourself that the world outside is alive, beautiful, and peaceful.
Pick up a new skill.
Try something new that you’ve never tried before. In a day where almost any activity has a tutorial on YouTube, we have an opportunity to learn something new. Try baking holiday cookies from scratch, making a homemade pizza, or a painting project.
Give to others.
Giving time and attention to another person not only feels good, but it spreads some kindness into the world. Senior homes often look to connect their residents to pen-pals, especially during COVID-19. If you like animals, you could even become a pen pal with a goat!
Remember that this is temporary.
COVID-19 has an expiration date, which many doctors and specialists have been trying to predict since the beginning of this crisis. Whatever date that ends up being, the important thing to remember is that this period will not last forever.
If you or a loved one are struggling with holiday loneliness or other mental health challenges, we are here to help. Contact us to request an appointment.