How To Feel A Little Less Alone During The Holidays

The holidays are about being with your loved ones and celebrating with friends and family. But this time of the year can also be challenging for people who have experienced a recent loss, who aren’t close with their family or who may be going through a divorce or breakup. Simply put, the jolly season can feel incredibly isolating for some.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to ward off seasonal sadness. Here are just a few expert-backed ways to feel less alone during what’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.”

The temptation to avoid the holidays may be strong, but doing so may increase symptoms of loneliness and even depression, according to Jeff Nalin, a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director at Paradigm Treatment Center, an adolescent mental health facility in California. Instead of hunkering down inside your home, he suggested seeking out time with a good friend or engaging in an activity you enjoy.

Keith Humphreys, a psychiatrist at Stanford Health Care, advised asking someone in the same boat as you to team up to do something fun.“It could be something major like sharing a Christmas meal but it could easily be simpler, like a shared cup of coffee. There’s no magic to it, someone just needs to take the initiative to reach out,” he said.

If you know you won’t be spending the holiday with family, get connected with friends or neighbors to figure out where to celebrate. “See who else is flying solo for the holidays. Make a fun plan like apartment-hopping or have a get-together in your building,” said Rori Sassoon, a relationship expert and CEO of the elite matchmaking service Platinum Poire.

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