Loneliness and seasonal affective disorder pose real threats to the emotional state of mind, especially when people cannot physically see their families. The holiday season, in general, can be a time of solitude for those celebrating alone.
This year, however, has brought an additional hurdle due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. Celebrating without the physical presence of our loved ones as a result of virus control has certainly highlighted the many emotional impacts that loneliness can have on people.
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Either way, feeling lonely or depressed at this time of year is common and quite normal whether or not we are going through a global pandemic. For those who have never experienced isolation during the holiday season, even the likelihood of facing hostile emotions during the so-called “most wonderful time of year” can seem far-fetched.
This is because not everyone feels loved and supported. Holidays are often a difficult time for those who do not have a family or a reliable support system. This includes people who have lost loved ones and those with stressed family relationships. Another reason for loneliness while on vacation is increased triggers, especially during a time when emotions are on the rise. The experience of emotional overload can contribute to the manifestation of loneliness.
BEAT YOUR SENSE OF LONELINESS WITH THESE ADAPTATION STRATEGIES:
Be Good With Yourself: Practicing self-care is a very essential coping mechanism in overcoming vacation loneliness. While this doesn’t completely erase feelings of loneliness, taking special care of yourself can make you feel better and enjoy your loneliness more. Whether you are spending time in nature, taking a relaxing bath, indulging in a new hobby, or participating in a physical activity, doing something for yourself is a form of self-care that is particularly appealing. vital to relieve stress during difficult times.
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Practice Gratitude: Practice gratitude every day by focusing on what you feel grateful for and enjoying the moments you can savor. Embracing all that we have and inviting new things into our lives, regardless of what it may be, will help us feel emotionally lighter. Writing your thoughts in a journal will help you focus only on the things that you enjoy in your life, thus boosting your morale.
Mitigate the possible effects of deprivation of touch: Touch, because of its physical and biochemical effects, is an essential part of exacerbating feelings of loneliness. These effects include a reduction in heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol, and improved levels of oxytocin in the body. In the absence of contact, such as hugs or handshakes that are given during the holidays, individuals could become stressed. You can alleviate touch deprivation by giving yourself a soothing massage or reflexology that may help you avoid the negative effects associated with loneliness.
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Plan something to look forward to: Although we have been forced to delay family reunions this year, that doesn’t mean we’ve wasted our chance to spend time with our loved ones. You can consider innovative ways to spend your vacation, even when you are homebound. For example, planning a virtual family reunion, virtual movie night, an online scavenger hunt game with loved ones, or a group experience like a getaway after the pandemic is over.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness and are struggling to cope with it, these effective ways will help you overcome seasonal loneliness by making your vacation more inclusive.
(This story is written by Kanchan Rai, Mental and Emotional Wellness Coach. For more health-related stories, visit HealthShots.com)