How to Deal with Loneliness at Christmas

With the end of 2021 drawing near, the summer and Christmas holidays are close at hand! However, while the holidays are a time to be merry, for people living alone, especially elderly in independent senior living situations, this time can make them more vulnerable to feelings of loneliness.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Knowing how to deal with loneliness at Christmas can be hard—but there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel better and even enjoy the holidays, no matter if they meet your expectations or not. Read on to discover four effective strategies you can use to beat the blues and appreciate your time this Christmas!

1. Be Good to Yourself

When we feel lonely, it can be too easy to start thinking negatively about ourselves. These negative thoughts can be like dominoes, leading from one to the next if we don’t stop them! Taking the time to treat yourself with kindness and compassion and do things that boost your self-esteem can help lift your spirits and take the focus away from feeling lonely.

Practicing self-care, gratitude, and self-compassion is especially important during the holidays. Here are a few ways you can treat yourself nicely and make the holidays a memorable experience:

  • Go for a stroll
  • Take a relaxing bath
  • Buy yourself something nice
  • Read a good book
  • Enjoy a hobby
  • Learn something new
  • Decorate for the season
  • Watch a movie or TV series

2. Understand that You’re Not Alone

While you may feel lonely during the holidays, these feelings won’t last forever, and you are not alone in feeling them. And remember that even if you’re not near your family and friends, those relationships are still in your life and just a phone call or video call away.

When you do feel lonely, reach out to people you miss and talk to them. Chances are they’re missing you too.

3. Rethink your Holiday Expectations

Rethinking your expectations of the holidays is another important thing to do. If you are feeling lonely, reminiscing over past Christmas times spent with family or friends and thinking about how things have changed will most likely not make you feel better. Avoiding the trap of expectations around ‘what things should be like’—according to tradition, advertisements, and social media—will make Christmas time and the holidays a lot more enjoyable.

What you think the holidays should be and what they really are can be very different, especially if your life or living situation has changed compared to last year. People may have left your life and new people have come in—avoiding comparison with others and focusing on what is here and now is the best way to embrace the present.

4. Focus on the Present and Cultivate Gratitude

Feelings of gratitude can be an effective antidote to loneliness and feeling a lack of love. By appreciating what you do have—from family, friends, and neighbours to pets, hobbies, and a comfortable home—you can steer your thoughts away from a negative frame of mind and focus on the things that you value and appreciate.

Enjoy the holidays with the welcoming community at Settlers

Thank you for reading, we hope you found some inspiration to make the most of the festive season ahead! At Settlers, our residents’ health and happiness are our top priority. If you’re looking for a warm and welcoming retirement village in Auckland, get in touch with us today. Our friendly team will answer any questions you may have and can book you in for a tour of the village on the next available date.