by Gladys Diaz
Loneliness can be a difficult feeling to be with, especially during the holidays.
There’s a difference, however, between spending time alone and feeling lonely. It can be nice when you have time and space to yourself (Those of us with kids know what a rare luxury that can be!). Alone time can feel comforting. It can be relaxing to focus on yourself; do what you want when you want to do it; reflect, plan and dream.
But loneliness is another feeling altogether.
Loneliness can feel empty, painful, and depressing. During times of loneliness, we can mistakenly feel as if there is no one out there who thinks about, cares for, and loves us – even if we are completely surrounded by people who continuously let us know that we are, indeed, not alone.
Loneliness when you’re single can be difficult, particularly during the holidays. There are parties and gatherings to attend, there’s a feeling of wanting to share these moments with someone else – someone other than family and platonic friends. And then there’s the thought of the upcoming New Year (not to mention that midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve).
Loneliness when you are in a relationship can feel just has empty and painful. Knowing that there is someone with whom you could be sharing those moments, but, because of distance – whether that’s physical or emotional – you’re unable (or he’s unwilling) to, can be heartbreaking.
So, what can you do when you’re feeling lonely?
- Focus on the people in your life who love you.
I’m not talking about “kidding yourself,” just to make yourself feel better. I’m talking about really taking stock of the people who truly love you and are there for you . Even though it’s not the romantic type of love that your heart desires, it’s important to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate the love that is already surrounding you so that you can be ready to welcome more in!
One of the keys to receiving more of what you want is to be grateful for what you already have, so take the time to notice the love that is already there, and let the people in your life know that you love them, too!
If you’re feeling lonely inside of a relationship, take some time to think about what you can do to shift the tide. It’s going to take some vulnerability to make the first move and let down your guard, but if you really want things to change, you’ve got to be willing to take the risk. And, many times, the other person has been doing the same thing you have – waiting for you to make the first move – and all they need is a signal to know it’s safe to start growing closer again.
Sometimes, the reason certain people are not in our lives has less to do with physical distance and more to do with emotional distance caused by resentment and the unwillingness to forgive.
Forgiveness does not mean that you are condone or approve of whatever the person did to hurt you. It just means you’re no longer willing to allow that situation to cause you anger and pain or to keep you from the ones you love.
If what happened is too painful for you to allow the person back into your life, you don’t have to. But, at the very least, forgive them in your heart and make room for love to fill the space the resentment has been taking up. If you were the one responsible for the transgression, consider gathering the courage to apologize. It’s no guarantee that the other person will allow you back into his/her life, but at least you will have cleared the space for that possibility.
- Make plans with the people with whom you’d like to spend time.
Waiting for people to invite you to go out or attend an event may result in you spending more time than you would like to alone. It may also be a matter of pride and not being willing to be vulnerable enough to let people know that you’d like to spend time with them. If you know there are people in your life with whom you’d like to spend some time, call them up, invite them out or to a party you’re hosting or would like to attend, or just to have a cup of coffee and catch up with them. You’re the one responsible for your happiness, so avoid staying home alone to prove just how lonely you are!
Reach out, connect with, and let the people in your life know that you love them, too!
And, if the people you reach out already have other plans, remember not to take it personally. Instead, schedule time together after the holidays. It will give you something to look forward to!
- Spend time taking care of others.
One of the most fulfilling ways to release feelings of sadness and loneliness is to care for others. Whether you volunteer to serve meals, collect or hand out presents, or visit people in the hospital or a nursing home, you will come away recognizing just how blessed you already are.
Giving love is another wonderful way to attract love – since like attracts like – so look for ways to give the gift of love to someone who may need it now more than ever!
- Fill your alone time doing things you love.
Even if you begin connecting and reconnecting with the people in your life, it’s likely that there are times when you are alone. Remember that alone time can be good for you, allowing you to pamper yourself and replenish your mind, body and spirit. So, make sure you’re doing at least one or two things a day that are just for you. Make a list of the things you enjoy doing, that relax you, and that make you feel loved and alive!
Giving love to others is one way to attract love, but so is loving ourselves!
For those of you who live in South Florida, a great way to connect with other amazing women is happening this Thursday, December 12th, at the South Florida Women’s Expo! Michelle and I will be talking about how to have it ALL in life AND love. And, not only will there be lots of great food, drinks, and shopping opportunities, but there will also be several women’s organizations and activities represented, and you may find one you’d in which you’d like to participate!
Loneliness can be difficult, especially during the holidays, but if you make this season a reason to reach out to and connect with others, you will come away feeling more love – and more loved – than you if you choose to spend it alone.
And, remember, the more love you give and receive, the more you will attract into your life!
If you have an idea for overcoming loneliness, especially during the holidays, please leave it below! We’d love to hear and share it!
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.