‘Tis the season to be…lonely? This year won’t look like the typical Hallmark Holiday Movie for most of us. In fact, feelings of loss and loneliness will be just as plentiful as elves on shelves and stockings hung by the fire. We made a conscious decision to create an episode where we mentally reframe and reimagine the holiday experience for anyone who is feeling the harsh effects of 2020.
We invite you to listen in to gain some insight on how to beat the holiday blues and how to keep loneliness from creeping in on you or your loved ones.
Another thing we encourage you to listen to is music, and we have a few seasonal songs that highlight how to make it through the rest of this year:
1. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Music is often a healing balm for tough times and a source of joy any time. Use Christmas carols, traditional holiday songs, or even your own personalized playlist to soothe or entertain yourself, especially if you’re spending the holidays on your own.
2. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” Like it or not, most of us will be doing exactly what we’ve been doing since March—sitting right at home during this entire season. This might not be the most inspirational way to put it, but just remember that things are looking up for 2021, and this is very likely a one- time only situation! In the meantime, consider using this time to reach out and call, text, email, or Zoom people in your life who are also sitting at home just waiting to hear from you!
3. “Deck the Halls” with boughs of holly. Decorate! Use holiday lights, candles, pine cones, and sprigs of holly to beautify your surroundings, even if you’re the only one who will get to see and enjoy it.
4. “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.” Walking outside and observing nature can be calming, peaceful, centering activities that help us reconnect with ourselves while pushing back the holiday blues.
5. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Most of you don’t have a reindeer, but many of us have pets that can keep us company and be a great source of love as we bring in the New Year.
From Imagine Yourself Podcast, here’s to a better, brighter 2021!
Here are some extra resources that we talked about in the podcast:
Former Astronaut Scott Kelly has some tips from his year by himself on the International Space Station in the Prevention article Social Isolation: "The Holidays Are Going to Be Hard, No Question"
Connect2Affect allows you to discover if you or a loved one is at risk for social isolation - not just over the holidays, but all year round.
Chicago Compass Counseling has an offering of YouTube videos, blogs and other resources addressing mental health including depression, anxiety, video game and internet addiction, alcohol moderation/addiction, racial trauma and more. It's also where you can contact Matt.
TalkSpace is the online counseling service where Matt and many other qualified therapists can help you from the comfort of your home.