Did you find yourself alone this holiday season? COVID-19 is still raging on. Travel restrictions have cropped up due to the new wave of the virus around the world. Thus you could not fly to see family. Perhaps, you have vulnerable populations in your family you needed to protect. Or maybe, your own health is at risk and therefore you chose to stay alone to protect yourself.
Or perhaps, work took you far away from home. Whatever your particular situation was, most people didn’t fancy spending the holidays by themselves. Yet, we found ourselves in this situation. What can a person do if they were alone for the holidays this year and are experiencing a new sense of isolation? Being alone doesn’t mean you must resign to sadness and loneliness. In this post, we’ll share 6 ways to beat loneliness after the holiday season.
Volunteer in your community
Beat lonely feelings by volunteering in your community. They are many contactless ways to be involved in your community.
Whether it is cooking and donating a meal, handing out warm clothes to the homeless, or delivering food with a service like Meals on Wheels, you will be surprised to find the number of opportunities to help others out.
While doing this, you can chat with people who also really need it this year. Your struggles are valid but focusing on others can give you a sense of purpose, renewed hope and you will feel less lonely.
Find other people who are alone and connect
There are people in your city who are in the same situation as you. Travel restrictions, the need to protect their loved ones, or even work may mean they were not able to be with others this past year – they too are looking for ways to beat loneliness
You can connect with these and host a socially distanced or virtual get-together. Who knows? You might form new friendships and partnerships that open up new opportunities for you.
Work around your home
Remember that project you’ve been meaning to work on for years now? This is your chance to finally get it done.
Picking a project at home to complete gives you purpose. Psychological studies show that having a sense of purpose is key to battling depression.
A home improvement project, for instance, can take days. Waking up to a purposeful project like that takes your mind off the fact that you are feeling lonely. Not to mention, all the movement you’ll be doing will burn off some of those unwanted calories from the holidays!
Learn a new hobby/pick up a new skill
Gone are the days when you would need to go to in-person classes to learn how to paint, sew a dress, play an instrument, or make sourdough bread.
These days, you can learn new hobbies or pick up a new skill on websites like YouTube and Udemy.
Connect with loved ones
The fact that you cannot be with your loved ones physically does not mean you cannot be with them virtually! Skype, Zoom, Facetime, and other video calling services, make it easy for anyone to host virtual group meetings.
Well, don’t restrict this functionality to your professional life alone! Even if we are socially distanced, you can still have parties, dance battles, sing-alongs, and karaoke over your favorite video conference method.
In this difficult past year, every reason to have good fun with the people you love is a good reason.
Use a journal to document your feelings
A recent article by Angela Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about the power of writing as a way to overcome difficult situations.
In a study by her lab, students spent 15 to 20 minutes writing about a time they failed and how this changed them for the better. These students also wrote about a time they succeeded and their feelings on that success. When this writing group was compared to a group that did not perform this exercise, the students in the writing group showed more persistence which also predicted better grades in school.
While most people reading this are past the school-going age, this idea of writing down or journaling your feelings as a way to overcome difficult situations is helpful.
It has been a difficult year and nobody can deny that. What has worked in your life? What has not worked? What lessons can you learn from these experiences? Are they people, places, and opportunities you are grateful for this year?
Using your journaling process to practice gratitude over the difficulty of the pandemic is one of the ways to beat loneliness you may be feeling this year.