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What to Do When the Holidays Bring Loneliness

It’s officially the loneliest time of the year.

What may also be hard to understand is that many folks consider this the happiest time of the year.

We all need feelings of connection and closeness. However, there are barriers that stop people from achieving the closeness they want.

The holidays tend to bring that gap into higher focus. The days are short, the temps are dropping, and the nights are long.

The incessant advertising and movies that promote joy, family, and friends are everywhere.

If you enjoy that imaging, then feel free to skip the rest of this blog. Enjoy the rush of happiness as you hum your favorite carol. For the rest of you, please read on.

If the holidays bring sadness, feelings of depression and loneliness for you, it might be nice to hear that you are not alone. This can be a tough time of year for many people.

For those of us who are not on good terms with family members, it can be a painful reminder of what you do not have. For those who would like to have a partner and do not, it can feel like prodding a sore tooth to skip over yet another holiday romance. 

It can also place enormous financial pressure on families.  For those who struggle with social anxiety, there is a lot of pressure to socialize.

There are many reasons why this time of year might not evoke warm fuzzy feelings. And that’s is quite typical.

The trouble starts when the external messaging feels so strong, it can be hard to set is aside.

So, how can we practice self-care when the outside factors seem intent on reminding us where we come up short?


  • Be kind to yourself. If you notice something feels particularly uncomfortable, see if you can limit your exposure to it.
  • Stick to a routine that works for you. Routines create a sense of well-being and help us stay grounded.
  • Create your own holiday rituals. There are ample volunteer opportunities, and ways to give back during the season.
  • Celebrate in a way that feels right to you. It can help create new, more positive experiences around this time of year.

The Center for Intimacy, Connection and Change is committed to providing the highest quality services to help you establish the wellness you deserve.

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