Loneliness can peak over the holidays, and especially so if you are feeling isolated from friends and family.￼ But there ARE some things that you can do that help create a time that feels personally significant.
Even if you have no plans, make a plan. Waking up to a feeling that there is nothing to do can increase feelings of loneliness. I would even suggest working out a sample schedule.￼
8am: Wake up and meditate, stretch, breathe.
9 am: Go for a walk or spend some time in nature. Observe the beauty of the trees and plants in winter. You don’t usually have a chance to revel in the luxury of observation.
10 am: ￼Cook a scrumptious breakfast. Make a frittata, Crab Benedict, shrimp etoufee, something you would not normally make for yourself.￼ You can spoil yourself, it’s not just something you need to make for others.￼
11-100pm: FaceTime or call loved ones. ￼
1pm: Watch a movie in bed or read a great book, wearing pajamas
3 pm: Take a nap, no more than an hour, you don’t want to sleep the day away and later feel like you did nothing special.￼￼
4 pm: Start to prep dinner
5 pm: Have a good cry or journal; it’s ok to let it out.
6 pm: Open a really nice bottle of red wine etc.
7 pm: Eat dinner. Savor.
9 pm: Take a bubble bath; listen to soothing podcasts or audiobooks.
10 pm: Slather on your most decadent lotion, wrap yourself in your softest blanket, hug yourself. See my article on the power of the self hug.
You Do You
This is the best day possible that you can fully treat yourself to doing anything and everything just for you. Have a spa day at home, listen to your favorite music, ￼spend time reading, reflecting, relaxing.
Decorate Your Space For The Holidays Anyway
A festive atmosphere goes a long way, even if you’re alone.
Get festive-smelling candles to fill the house with the scent of whatever you associate with the holidays. Our olfactory senses are most tied to memory, so candles can really help wrap you in the joy of past gatherings.
A lot of people are going to be on lock down this holiday so be proactive in reaching out to friend’s to see what their plans are. You may not be the only one feeling lonely.￼
No Pedestals Required￼
Stop putting “the holidays” up on some sort of pedestal like they’re supposed to be this amazingly perfect, beautiful time of the year. Yes, the holidays are a wonderful time to connect with friends and family but that doesn’t mean they HAVE to be just about that. There’s this idea that the holidays are supposed to be perfect. Try not to mythicize it all.
Plan A Virtual Get Together With A Friend Or Two
Watch a movie together while distanced; eat a meal together; have cocktails together while listening to some great music together. You can take turns picking songs.
If you can, try to find a soup kitchen or charitable organization that is accepting volunteers. This will take some proactive advanced planning due to Covid restrictions but the work will be worth it. Many organizations and shelters are very grateful for people who put together packages of goods to drop off, or even give out￼ at the site.