The feeling of loneliness is incredibly painful. It can be particularly difficult this time of year where there is a lot of pressure to “deck the halls” with others and curl up roasting some chestnuts with a special someone.
The last thing I want for you this holiday season (or any other time of year) is to suffer by feeling alone. The biggest gift you can give to yourself is to change how you experience time alone. I realize that’s easier said than done, so I want to share my tips to help you overcome and reframe loneliness.
First, be very mindful of what you tell yourself when you’re alone. The fact that you’re alone isn’t why you feel lonely. The meaning you give being alone is what creates the feeling of loneliness. If you tell yourself that you’re a loser, or something’s wrong with you, or life would be so much better if you had someone there, you’re going to suffer. Conversely, if you choose loving and supportive thoughts while being conscious of not making alone time mean anything negative about you, your experience will change.
Second, make sure your “connection cup” is full. Be proactive about making plans, getting out with friends, immersing yourself in hobbies or volunteerism, or anything else that gets you around people. When you’re proactive about being around people, your alone time can feel like a time to recharge and reconnect to yourself.
I spend quite a bit of time alone, so this is something I’ve really learned to put into practice for my mental and emotional health. I balance being out in the world and connected to others with spending time with myself. If my connection cup isn’t full, then I’m way more likely to feel lonely.
Third, we experience more loneliness when we don’t feel a connection to some kind of Higher Power. When our spiritual life is rich, we truly know that we are never alone (tweet this!). We know we’re part of the Oneness and loved unconditionally by our Higher Power. If you realize your spiritual life is a bit poor, I encourage you to start a meditation practice, read some spiritual texts, listen to audios or podcasts – basically do anything to get yourself connected!
Loneliness is one of the most painful human experiences because it reinforces the illusion of separation. When we think we’re on our own and feel disconnected, we’re more likely to feel sad, anxious, and worthless.
As humans, we NEED connection. Please don’t wait for someone else to come and take the pain away. Be proactive about changing your story of being alone and filling your connection cup.
You are not alone!