Or, at least that’s what the song tells us. But, it’s not just music giving us this message. The entire holiday season, from Christmas through the New Year is supposedly one of festivity, joy, family, and friendships. Popular culture is pretty clear on this, and for many people, the holidays are a joyful time.
However, that doesn’t apply to everyone. Holiday loneliness is real for many men and women. And, it’s made far worse by the expectations of happiness throughout the Christmas season. If you don’t wear a smile you’re considered a scrooge or a downer.
Why is holiday loneliness so real? Christmas is a time that many people are reminded of the gaps in their lives. The expectations of a tight-knit family, opportunities to socialize, general talk of “joy,” contrast with most people’s lives which are lacking in these areas. These things don’t magically appear simply because December rolls around, and some people are reminded of the gap between what they would like and what they actually have.
However, you don’t have to be lonely over the holidays. You can take the initiative and find more joy and meaning this Christmas season. Here’s how to beat holiday loneliness.
Note, for those with serious depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health issues, make sure to consult with a professional. These tips are for those who are lonely.
Create Social Opportunities
Many people who are lonely at the holidays lack family and friends to celebrate with. They might be unemployed or feel isolated too. They don’t have access to family functions and parties throughout Christmastime.
However, that doesn’t mean a person has to be lonely. Many of these people feel depressed because they wait for others to invite them to events. But, without social networks they end up never getting invited. But, instead of waiting around, find or create your own events.
Look for organizations that offer public Christmas parties. Churches, social and community organizations, and even bars will have Christmas parties open to the public. Show up, have a good time and meet some new people.
Even better, throw your own party. Invite family, friends, and co-workers. This gives you the advantage of being the one in charge. You’ll likely impress people (especially if you do it well) and build deeper friendships with others throughout the rest of the year.
Get A Life
While holiday loneliness has different roots for different people (like a loss of a loved one), in many cases, men and women are lonely at the holidays because they dislike their lives the rest of the year. As I previously mentioned, the happiness of others simply magnifies their already existing feelings of loneliness.
The solution is to actually get a life. I don’t mean that to be negative, just realistic. If a person is crushingly lonely at Christmas, it’s because he or she isn’t making friends, getting dates, and bonding with family throughout the rest of the year.
So, find ways to meet friends, go on dates, and build rapport with others. People are busy at the holidays, so it can be frustrating to start now. But, don’t let the opportunities slip away once the new year passes.
Yes, it isn’t as simple as “make friends.” However, think of all the effort you may spend on various hobbies, like following a sports team or commenting on Reddit. Imagine putting some of that energy into meeting new people and learning social skills related to that. It may be a great new year’s goal worth looking into. Fortunately, we have several books that can help men and women make friends and get dates.
Set Those Resolutions Early
Finally, the best way to beat loneliness? Better yourself and have some traits that would make others want to be around you. Popular people often have the opposite problem of holiday loneliness; they want down time.
Don’t wait until January 1st to start bettering yourself. Set goals right now and work towards them. Lose weight, get fit, start a business, take up an instrument, etc. Find a way to make yourself more attractive (in the general and romantic sense) so that you will never have to face another Christmas alone.
Write down your goals and steps to achieve them. Keep them simple and achievable (like “lose 5 pounds by the end of January” versus “lose 100 pounds”). Then, keep adding more goals after you achieve these.
Personal change is a process, but if you start now, then next Christmas you’ll be hoping for relaxation time, not sitting around moaning about being lonely over the holidays.