10 Ways to Combat Holiday Loneliness

28 December 2013

Millions of people feel depressed when they hear the words to that popular Christmas song: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.  For many, the holidays are times of loss and loneliness.If you are lonely, it’s important to first identify the reason for your loneliness. Is it due to the death of a loved one, a recent separation or divorce, a military deployment, distance from family, singleness? The reason may not be immediately changeable, but does require good coping skills in order to avoid sinking in to depression.Here are 10 suggestions on how to deal with your loneliness:1. Stay engaged in life.
Don’t isolate yourself. Plan to attend activities that don’t require a partner—a sing-along at church, a cooking demonstration, or a book signing.2. Exercise self-care.
Get out an exercise. Eat well. Treat yourself to a massage or a good book. Take up a hobby.3. Get a pet.
Pets make great companions if you can afford them and can work them in to your lifestyle.4. Develop an attitude of gratitude.
Studies show that focusing on your blessings improves your mood.5. Lose the self-pity.
There is always someone with a story more desperate than yours. Life is hard and loss happens. God helps us through hardship, but He never promised a life without heartache.6. Help others.
Serve the homeless, take cookies to the elderly, or organize an event for a nursing home. Because our extended family doesn’t live in the area, we invite international university students who can’t go home for holiday dinners over to our house. Be creative.7. Rethink your expectations.
With all the hype around the holidays, it is easy to think everyone is gathering and having the time of their life. Assess your situation, make realistic expectations and actively work at them.8. Evaluate your friendships.
Have you spent time all year cultivating friends? If not, this may be one reason you are feeling lonely. Decide to make changes in the coming year to build relationships. 9. Do not use alcohol, shopping, eating or other vices to cope with lonely feelings.
When you feel down, write a list of behaviors that are healthy. Your list could include listening to upbeat music, calling a friend, writing in a journal, or reading the Bible.10. Don’t give in to hopelessness.
Get out your Bible, read the promises of God, pray and worship. God never leaves you and offers His spirit to comfort you.
Previous PostsHelp to Deal With Difficult Family Members During the Holidays
Today's blog is a 30 minute radio show I did on dealing with difficult family members during the holidays. We all have that obnoxious uncle, cranky grandparent or out of control cousin. How do you deal with these people in the season of good cheer? Listen! Click on the picture for tips on surviving

posted 8:04:45am Dec. 23, 2013 | read full post »

5 Tips to Change a Marriage From Fizzle to Sizzle
According to marriage researcher, Paul Amato, 60% of divorces in the U.S. are from low conflict couples. This means these divorces were not characterized by abuse, addiction, repeated infidelity, or even high conflict. The marriages just fizzled. Couples stopped paying attention to each other and lo

posted 8:00:56am Dec. 20, 2013 | read full post »

4 Ways to Say NO to Christmas Cookies, YES to the DRESS
Whose idea was it to invent the Christmas cookie and give us days of eating temptation? Actually, the tradition of the Christmas cookie can be traced to Medieval European recipes.  During the 1500s, the Christmas cookie was popular all over Europe. Then the Dutch and Germans brought it to the sh

posted 8:00:29am Dec. 18, 2013 | read full post »

10 Ways to Worsen Relationship Conflict
 Jackie and Mike felt like they were constantly battling over small things. Like them, most of us need a little help when it comes to dealing with conflict in our relationships. Here are 10 things NOT to do. They only worsen the situation. 1) Make assumptions about the person or situation. Assum

posted 8:00:20am Dec. 17, 2013 | read full post »

Why the Pope, Not Miley Was a Surprising Choice for Man of the Year
Thankfully, Time Magazine chose Pope Francis as their Man of the Year, not Miley Cyrus! When I heard the announcement, it gave me a moment of hope. He is deserving of that award. But in one way, he was a surprising choice. Headlines are made by the sensationalists. And even though I'm growing wea

posted 8:00:16am Dec. 13, 2013 | read full post »