During what is normally busiest time of year amid the festive parties, cheery songs and bright lights many people are facing a feeling of loneliness this year. Maybe you are one of them.
During a difficult year when I lived by myself weekends loomed with no plans to fill them, my final divorce paperwork came through. I was kicked out of my home that I had built and I had a 10 month old son to take care of, alone. It hit me as I was driving to my parent’s house and the Christmas music came on in the car.
Deep pain of loss, abandonment and fear of loneliness.
Isn’t this a time of the year when most people are busy rushing around buying
gifts and being merry?
Indeed, for many this season is the most wonderful and happiest time of the year.
And yet there are some who feel lonely and unhappy especially this year. Some people live far from family and miss seeing their loved ones this time of year.
Feeling crushed by waves of missing out, the break up meant that the friendship groups disconnected and for me the feeling of
emptiness around Christmas was real that year. Being connected is so important to us as
humans. For those who feel a sense of loneliness during the festive season, this time of year can be a time of additional stress. Which causes problems with sleep, mood and immunity.
Loneliness is difficult to define and trickier to determine when it presents itself, what’s
causing it and how to counter it. It’s a subjective feeling rather than a condition, like love, it
can’t be diagnosed.
The breakthrough for me was admitting to myself the fact that I had gone through a few life
transitions simultaneously, becoming a mum and getting divorced. That it wasn’t about
being alone, it was about grieving the loss of emotional connections. I reached out to baby
groups, found a coach and immersed myself in personal development.
The only antidote for loneliness is a community of like minded people who share your interests and connect with you. They are the people who hold you accountable to show up and they will notice when you don’t. It’s about having that support network who will be there for you. The impact it had was phenomenal, not just in my personal life but in my career, health and relationships too.
That was the turning point in my life, the moment that I knew something had to change. Often the reason for our loneliness and unhappiness stems from our thoughts or mindset. We focus our thoughts on what we don’t have instead of what we have, that’s why we always feel incomplete and unfulfilled.
The best investment that I ever made was in myself by hiring my coach who helped me change my mindset. The habit I had of talking negatively to myself, now I am my own best friend. Besides we spend most of our time in our own company so might as well be your own cheerleader.
During this joyous season, snap out of loneliness by doing the opposite. Focus your thoughts
on what you have instead of what you don’t have. Be grateful for all the blessings and
opportunities you have had this year. Once I started being grateful and writing a journal for
all the things that I was blessed with this year, I realised that I am loved and supported by
the people who matter.
Just like in the book Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman, sometimes ‘fine’
isn’t enough. I developed strategies to help me counter loneliness.
Investing in my friends by going to online events, doing volunteer work over the festive period and join a network. Make an action plan and make the moves to follow the course.
Loneliness might hurt but there is a reason we feel like that. It’s time to reach out. I tell my
clients all the time, that it is part of your journey and ask to yourself ‘what can you learn
from it’, ‘what needs to change’, ‘what can you do instead of spending time overthinking’.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage and support but when you imagine it’s the
beginning of an amazing adventure, that’s when incredible things happen. Find out how you can get coaching for just £29.99 a month.