Loneliness & The Holidays

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EveHarrington

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How do you deal with loneliness during the holiday season?

I have my mom in my life but I’m estranged to various degrees with much of my family. I still speak to some who are more distant, but as you know that’s not the same.

Things ended with my ex a few months ago although he sent me flowers after not speaking to me for a month, assuming that would be enough to get me back. Of course it wasn’t, because I was explicit in telling him exactly what I needed, which was making an effort and meeting me half way. It was clear when I messaged him a few days after getting the flowers that he went right back to pushing me to the side. Don’t get me wrong. Holidays and birthdays were miserable with him in my life as he was a complete grinchy Scrooge about it all, and I spent most of those days hoping I’d at the very least get a “happy whatever” kind of text, but usually I didn’t. (Yes I know it was bad.) So in the end I’m happy to not be walking on eggshells throughout the entire holiday season, but at the same time I still feel lonely.

I am trying to keep myself busy although I have had a few week period of being pretty depressed and falling behind with life. I think I’m on the upswing now which is good as life has become pretty hectic.

So do you have any suggestions for dealing with the loneliness?

Thank you.
 
How much do you want to get involved with the people-ish side of the holidays?

IE Either community based things like tree lightings, competitions, balls, fairs, & festivals; &/or private based things like classes, caroling, theatre/ballet/symphony, exhibitions, skating?

A = Yay, people+holiday adventuring!

If the people-ish side is something you would love to do, but don’t have anyone to go WITH?
- Community things are always looking for volunteers, which gives you a built in group of people to be with (the other volunteers). Bringing a list of other-fun-holiday-activities can 2 birds 1 stone it… as people who volunteer at one holiday activity are often game to mob up at other holiday activities.
- Classes (like blow your own glass ornament, choral groups, cookies, & other holiday themed single day to multi-week things) are another way to become a part of a built in group.
- Both community & private holiday events I’ve always found the best advertising for in local parenting mags. Which, in turn, are found in places like the YMCA & Community Centers, as well as online.


A = No way! The whole point is to avoid the holidays!

There’s a lot out there (unless you live in the Bible Belt, and even then I was surprised to find how much is around… whether it’s volunteering for a Fat Tuesday float, muddying, Chinese cooking, arts classes. It’s “just” IME that the presumption is that you’re all holiday’d out, and need some sanity injected into the craziness.

Some of the best resources I’ve found for anti-holiday people’ing are in “alternative” newspapers, & other religions online news letters.

A = Wrong on both counts! No people. No holidays. Just looking to manage the loneliness.

I usually use big blocks of time alone (that I know of in advance) to set up reeeeeally fun/ relaxing/ exciting/ satisfying things for me to do, that I simply cannot get done (for various reasons) except during times when “everyone else” (either friends/family, or society at large) is busy. So instead of being at loose ends, I’ve got a whole durn list of things to choose from, to suit my mood in the moment.

Of course, that actually requires having projects, passions, interests, escapes… and I don’t, at all times… nor the resources to sink my teeth in, even if I do. But that’s a different problem than not being lonely, because I’m enjoying my time to myself to the hilt.
 
One I've often heard was to volunteer during the holidays. You make someone elses life better and it gives you a feeling of togetherness.

volunteering sounds like a great idea.

I’ve volunteered in the past, delivering meals on Christmas Day. My mom and I have done this in the past and one of those years was one of the best holidays I have ever had. We delivered meals to people in need and I remember just giving people a few minutes (or a half hour!) of your time really brightened their spirits as many were alone for the day.

Oh my gosh you guys are making me cry! Those are great memories. I’ll see if my mom wants to do it again this year, as we stopped because of the pandemic so I think the last time we did it was 2019?
 
How much do you want to get involved with the people-ish side of the holidays?


Well, I’m introverted and love the holidays. But, I can be on the more social end of the spectrum, for an introvert. I say this as I don’t want to give the impression that I am or desire to be a complete hermit. I’ve always loved the holidays and even though I am struggling, I want to make it a good holiday season.

Since I first posted I’ve had a bit of a turnaround. Sometimes I just need something to get a foothold into an upswing and then I run with it to keep the momentum going. I’m trying to plan things to do for the holidays that will make me happy. I went out today with my mom and it was nice seeing Christmas stuff in the shops. I found some really cool gingerbread houses and I’m going to buy one as I love making them (but not eating them so much, lol). I bought tickets to a Christmas show and that’s in just a few weeks. This is another holiday tradition that goes back to my childhood with my grandmother. I’m probably going to go see a holiday movie classic in a theater as a number of theaters around me show various movies. I like going to holiday open houses, too, and there are a few of them coming up.

Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!
 
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