“Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.” Psalms 69:20 (NIV)
The air of the holiday season should bring about an excitement of joy and anticipation. As traditions go, there are festive lights, holiday office parties, family celebrations and the twinkling eyes of children as they wait for Santa to fulfill their Christmas wish list. In the hustle and bustle of the excitement, we know the real reason of the season, which is to celebrate the birth of a newborn King, our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sadly, to say, there are many that can’t chime in on holiday festivities because of feeling lonely, insecure and empty after a breakup. Here’s some news for you…you are not the only one feeling lonely.
According to the global health service company Cigna, the results from a national survey unmasked alarming statistics of the impact of loneliness in America. The survey “revealed that nearly 46 percent of Americans report that they sometimes or always feel isolated and alone.” Cigna Study Reveals Loneliness at Epidemic Levels
There is no doubt that we have all struggled with loneliness at some point in time in our lives. You can be in a crowded room and still feel the sensation of being alone. Then there are times when you just want to break away from the craziness of everyone around you and find solace in a quiet corner.
“The Roots of Loneliness: Any event that ruptures the social fabric of a person’s life may lead to loneliness, so no one is immune.” (Weiten/Hammond/Dunn)
There is nothing more saddening and stressful than dealing with loneliness during the holiday seasons. Anyone can experience loneliness. At times you can become overwhelmed with grief, low self-esteem, depression, suicidal thoughts, drug addiction, overeating, and so much more.
Ways to defeat loneliness during the holiday season
Self-awareness – Meditate and connect with self. Sort out why you’re feeling isolated. Increase self-awareness about who you are and understand how this situation is affecting your entire being. Discover your fears and anxieties.
Interact socially– Resist the urge to escape from your problems by hiding. This is difficult to do (I know…trust me). Stay socially active by getting involved in community work or church fellowships. Join a travel club and visit new destinations. Meet new friends. In order to make new friends, you have to be a friend and hang around people. Find an art class or take up a new hobby. Get out there and re-connect with people and friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media! Hang out with good friends at work. Start a blog and share your experiences.
Turn your lonely time into Volunteer time – Help someone else in need. Be sociable! Take a senior citizen out to lunch! Volunteer at a hospital or rest home. Get involved. Donate to your favorite charity. Stay busy.
Join a Gym – People who are lonely lack the motivation to get out and be pro-active. Join a gym and get moving! It is never too late to get in shape and start a new exercise regimen. Find a trainer to help you put together a good exercise program that is enjoyable for you. Take the time to build a plan to suit you and your body. Any amount of exercise is better than being a couch potato! Any kind of weight loss can also reduce some of the health risks associated with being overweight. Weight loss can also change your mood, attitude and rebuild self-confidence.
Pet Companionship – Pets can actually help break the cycle of loneliness according to research. They can have a positive effect on your emotional well-being and enrich your life. It has been said that pet ownership can actually lower blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety. The furry little friends can provide unconditional love and friendship.
Do things that you like to do – Pursue your passions. Enroll in a college curriculum or online class. Finish that project you’ve put off for too long. Cook, bake and eat. Call up some friends and go to the mall and hang around people. Remind yourself of your successes. Remind yourself of how awesome you are. Do something remarkable!
Create new traditions – Movie Night
“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (if you need a good laugh)
“The Pursuit of Happyness” (how a single man raising his son went from homelessness to a wealthy stockbroker)
Prayer and Faith Intervention – You can do everything possible to satisfy the loneliness and still feel left out from the rest of the world. The human emotional need is to be accepted and have a sense of belonging. But there is nothing is more satisfying than to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7 (NIV)