We often ascribe feelings of loneliness to those who are single at Xmas, those enduring heartbreak or grief, or those spending the holidays far away from friends and family.
However, it is possible, and in fact quite common, to feel lonely when you’re surrounded by people. Many people in long-term relationships can still experience feelings of isolation around the holidays, and here’s what you can do to remedy that.
How to combat these feelings?
Talk to your partner. It is important to acknowledge the way you are feeling, and bring this up to your partner, starting what will probably be a series of conversations. It’s vital to explain the situation from your experience and your feelings, rather than making it seem as if they might be responsible.
Come up with a solution together. It’s equally important to listen to their point of view and how they are feeling to begin the quest to figure out what caused these feelings and how you’ll move forward to fix this. Sorting this out as a team might already help to overcome some of these feelings as opposed to dealing with this all by yourself.
Find the answer within yourself. If you are convinced that the problem isn’t with your relationship and that your partner is doing everything they can to make you feel valued and fulfilled, these feelings may simply exist within yourself. If this is the case, you need to confront these feelings rather than trying to ignore them or distract yourself by surrounding yourself with others.
Activities and practices that help you to be more present, self-aware and introspective will be very useful to you. Yoga, meditation or long, thoughtful walks are great options. Sometimes it can be beneficial to find external help as talking to somebody outside of the situation can help you to think more clearly and be a more enlightening experience.
Focus on what you do have, rather than what you don’t. Feeling unfulfilled or empty can be the result of your mindset. It is said that the only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude. So, focus on what you do have. Be grateful for the people in your life and the experiences you’ve had this year. Things might not be as bad as you initially thought.
Obviously, this can be a game-changer for people experiencing loneliness and unhappiness, however, if you think your problems may be more deep-rooted and long-term, you need to start communicating to begin the journey to fix this.
If you feel as if you could use some support and guidance, I am offering online 30-minute It’s Good to Talk! sessions for couples and groups where we can discuss your challenges and come up with ways to overcome these in a confidential and supportive environment. I also cater these sessions to individuals who might need some unbiased, non-judgemental advice from somebody who is completely removed from the situation. Acknowledging, confronting and talking about these feelings is the first step to getting back to feeling like yourself, and enjoying your life and relationships.
Enjoy the holiday season but remember not to put too much pressure on this time of year. This time of the year is a time when we put everything in our lives under the microscope as we tend to over-analyse and re-evaluate current partnerships, friendships, career aspirations and life goals. It is important to retain perspective, find comfort in the fact that many people feel similarly throughout the holidays, and count your blessings for people and experiences that you are lucky enough to have.