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Alone For The Holidays: Coping With Loneliness and Depression

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As if the year hasn’t already been emotionally challenging enough, the holiday season has arrived, and you’re all alone. Whether you just ended a long-term relationship, your kids are out of town (or have other plans), your family lives far away, or you’ve chosen to stay to yourself due to the pandemic, the loneliness is weighing on you.

While you could spend the next few weeks sulking in sadness, you don’t have to. Below are some suggestions on how to be happy this holiday season, despite being alone. 

Count Your Blessings

One way to cope with being alone during the holidays is to count your blessings. Although you’re feeling down, there’s a lot to be grateful for. Many people have been through worse this year and don’t have jobs, homes, food, or families due to the uncertain times.

List the things you have and the challenges you’ve overcome along the way. If nothing else, you have your health – so find a way to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. 

Spend Time With Others

Your biological family may be long-distance or unavailable to spend the holidays with you, but that doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Think about the people that are closest to you and make plans to be with them during the holidays.

Whether it’s your best friend, a co-worker, your neighbors, members of your church’s congregation, or someone else you know, being in their presence can make a big difference. 

Attend Local Events

Believe it or not, you’re not the only person that feels alone during the holidays. In fact, many communities and local establishments host events for singles around this time of year. It’s an opportunity for you to meet people in similar situations, connect, and enjoy the festivities of the season. Who knows? You could end up meeting someone and getting invited to other events happening in your neighborhood. 

Take A Solo Trip

Why not take a solo trip if you have the time and budget? Sometimes being at home by yourself can exacerbate your feelings of loneliness. Taking a mini-vacation to a new destination gives you something else to focus on.

You can head to a tropical island, rent a cozy cabin, or explore a big city during the holiday season. You’re bound to find activities that you can enjoy on your own. Even if you simply stay in a luxury hotel, order room service, and take a dip in the pool, it’s a lot better than moping around at home. 

Plan Something Nice At Home

Don’t have the money to go on a vacation? You can still make the most of this holiday season by planning something nice for yourself at home. Order holiday dinner from your favorite restaurant, watch a few movies, give yourself a manicure, soak in the bathtub, listen to calming music, or do arts and crafts. Keeping yourself occupied will help the time pass and will also reduce feelings of loneliness. 

Steer Clear of Vices

If the holiday season tends to get you down, the worst thing you can do is turn to substances like drugs and alcohol for emotional relief. As tempting as it might be to have a bottle of wine or smoke a joint, it’s not going to resolve the underlying issue.

If necessary, look for detox centers in Tampa or other nearby cities that offer in and outpatient services during the holidays. At the very least, talk to a therapist or join a support group to help give you the emotional support you need to get through the holidays. 

Peace, happiness and togetherness are often associated with the holidays, but it’s not the case for everyone. If being by yourself is causing you to feel depressed, be proactive and find ways to combat these negative emotions.