Maybe you’re not feeling okay this Holiday Season

Serve others at Christmas
(Photo: By Ayadm. Own work. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Being alone during Christmas holidays can feel challenging. This holiday is a time of year that many people spend in the company of family and friends. Due to stay-at-home orders as well as growing COVID cases across the world, you may find yourself spending this season of festivities alone.

You may even find yourself alone this time of year if you live with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Perhaps you turned down invitations to gatherings because of your anxiety, or maybe your relatives live out of town. Whatever the reason for being alone, there are ways that you can feel less lonely.

I’m unmasking the real life of many of us, admitting life is sometimes hard, and pointing out seasons can break us. And as a result, these hard times can make us feel like our confidence is faltering and we feel like we aren’t persevering as we should.

They say that how you feel and what you get out of being alone during the Holiday season is really all about your intention. Author Sasha Cagen shared insights from her book, Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics: “Spending time alone during a holiday, if you’re intentional about it, can be really meaningful and a beautiful experience.”

Ultimately, it is always best to anticipate and recognize any feelings of sadness before proactively planning to combat them.

Managing the Holiday Blues

  • Be Genuinely Grateful: No matter our circumstances, we can always express appreciation for the little things in life. Use this time of solitude to take in the beauty of the sounds, smells, and sights around you.
  • Limit Your Alcohol and Drug Use: Now is not the time to magnify your feelings with stimulants or depressants. Try coping with exercise or meditation instead.
  • Practice Self-Care: Reduce stress levels by eating healthy, getting a massage, walking the park, or doing anything else that brings you comfort.

Remember being physically alone doesn’t mean that you are by yourself. One of our biggest illusions is that we are separated from others.

If today is hard for you, take a moment to breathe. The holidays can be hard – even more so if you are hurting. Don’t ignore your pain and stuff your feelings inside. If you need to cry, allow yourself to cry. Cry out to God for comfort and let others to be His hands and feet when you need them to be. Try your best to focus on the good things that you do have in your life right now. Connect with people who make life feel easier. You’re never alone and I’m so sorry if the holidays ever make you feel that way. You are loved.

My hope for you this year and every holiday is that you remember you are special, you deserve love, and you are stronger than most people. You probably don’t want to be strong all the time, but it’s still a sign of character. And if you can, be extra kind to people right now, even if your heart feels cold and scared.

If you’re feeling the Christmas blues, you can meditate on these reminders of God’s presence with us:

God, I feel disconnected, lonely and anxious. Help me to trust that you are near me and that you will protect me.

I rely on your constant love;I will be glad, because you will rescue me.

I will sing to you, O Lord,because you have been good to me. – Psalm 13:5-6.

Lord, I feel like nobody understands me. Remind me that you know me, understand all my thoughts, and see how I feel. Give me comfort in knowing that you see my darkest thoughts and love me just the same.

Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do;from far away you understand all my thoughts.

You see me, whether I am working or resting;you know all my actions.
Even before I speak,you already know what I will say.
You are all around me on every side;you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep;it is beyond my understanding. – Psalm 139:1-6 (GNTD)

God, I feel unlovable and unloved. Thank you for coming down from heaven to be with us and to save us. Your love for me is larger than I could even imagine. Show me that your love is enough for me. Thank you for protecting me, for listening to me and for loving me no matter what.

Lord, I know you will never stop being merciful to me.Your love and loyalty will always keep me safe. – Psalm 40:11.

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