Alone During the Holidays?

As the holidays approach it can be an especially vulnerable time if you are feeling emotionally fenced in or isolated. The last two years have been marked by a normalization of isolation. Now that you may be slowly re-emerging and are participating in large family gatherings, work parties and social invitations once again, it can set any leanings toward aloneness back into sharp relief.

Here are some ideas to feel empowered if spending time on your own during the holidays.

1. Create something special for yourself

For instance, take this opportunity to indulge in some self-care rituals that you may have been putting off. Book a day at the spa. Get your hair done. Journal, paint or sidle up to a potter’s wheel. It doesn’t matter what you decide. Make sure it brings you a sense of satisfaction, distraction and productivity.

Escapism during the holiday season is perfectly fine as well. Binge watch “Scenes from a Marriage” or “Game of Thrones” on Netflix.

2. Take a trip

If you have the time, resources and freedom, go on that yoga retreat you’ve been contemplating. A change of scenery will often allow time for self-reflection and give way to a positive and healthy change in perspective. You may find yourself taking inventory of all the things in your life that need tending to, mending, or need to be purged altogether

3. Volunteer

 This is a good time to look at all you’ve been given and pay it forward. Find a worthy cause or community program that you believe in and create a schedule that works for you both during the holidays, and beyond, to give back to your community in some meaningful way.

The benefits will undoubtedly have a ripple effect on your life and hopefully within your community, or perhaps even globally. This is not just to feel better about yourself, but more about aligning with those creating positive and lasting change.

Final thoughts

Whatever you decide to do, just know that you are not alone in your aloneness.  People all around you are quietly going about their days alone, celebrating small victories and accepting bitter defeats each day, even throughout the holidays.

It rains on us all at times, but we must move through it. It’s the wheel of humanity, and the season merely marks another year you have survived its indifferent spin.

Love and forgive, as you allow yourself to be loved and forgiven. That kind of grace is the best gift you can give or receive, as the years recede behind you or stretch out before you.

Lisa Ryan LPC

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