How to Cope with Being Alone During the Holidays

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

This holiday season is going to be quite lonely for many. With new lockdown orders, and in some areas curfews, many aren’t comfortable traveling or attending social gatherings. I have seen a number of posts and comments by friends and friends of friends about spending the holidays alone, which can be quite depressing.

We’ve already seen an increase in anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Suicide rates have also been on the rise. Cook County, Illinois and Fresno, California are just two major cities who have reported and increase in suicides this year with a 13% in Cook County so far compared with the same period last year. In Fresno, suicides were 70% higher in June than in the same month last year. The National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine has seen a 65% increase in calls and emails since March, according to the organization.

According to the CDC, elevated levels of adverse mental health conditions, substance use, and suicidal ideation were reported by adults in the United States in June 2020. The prevalence of symptoms of anxiety disorder was approximately three times those reported in the second quarter of 2019 (25.5% versus 8.1%), and prevalence of depressive disorder was approximately four times that reported in the second quarter of 2019 (24.3% versus 6.5%).

Combine this with the stress, uncertainty, and hostility surrounding the recent elections, in addition to the emphasis on families and being with others this time of year, the holidays can be an especially lonely and trying time, even for those who are typically okay being alone. However, because of the fear and cautionary measures being put forth, those of us who truly enjoy the traditional gatherings around the turkey are now having to hunker down with our pets, Netfix and UberEats on Thanksgiving eve. This can be especially trying if you’re single and live alone.

It doesn’t have to all doom and gloom though. Here are some things you can do to make the most of the holidays if you’ve decided to brave the ‘Rona storm and spend the holidays solo:

  • Consider have a people over (less than 5). I know that’s counterintuitive to the whole quarantine concept, but humans are social creatures by nature. We need community and time with family and friends for festivity and fellowship. Personally, I see no problem with responsibly entertaining a select group of friends who you’ve frequently hung out with during the past few months. Staying sane is just as important as staying safe during this time.

The holidays can be a lonely time, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel isolated and alone. Stay focused on acknowledging and meeting your needs, have an attitude of gratitude, be responsibly social if you comfortable doing so, and next thing you know, it’ll be all over.

Namaste and happy holidays.

Written by

Writer & NLP Certified Coach. I teach people how to realize their greatest potential and use their gifts to make a difference in the world. I also save animals.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store