The holidays tend to be a time for “family and friends,” and it seems that every holiday commercial revolves around this theme. Sometimes it can be tough to face the holiday season if you will be spending it alone. Each person has a different reason for spending the holidays solo. Whether you’ve lost a family member, gotten into unresolved fights with family, live far from family or just have lost touch with past relationships, it can be difficult to be alone this time of year. As your therapist in Hermosa Beach and the South Bay, you are not alone in this feeling. This is a familiar experience for many people and there are ways you can cope with the feelings that may arise. Let me help you through this difficult time.
During this time, it’s natural to think about past holiday experiences or people you used to share the holidays with, but I challenge you to focus on the present this year. Concentrating too much on the past will only bring you down. Focus on what’s happening in your life right now. Consider the positive aspects of your life that are happening in the present, whether it is your job, a small accomplishment you’ve made, or starting a new project.
As we all are well aware, the holidays bring with it nonstop reminders all over the place. Sometimes watching commercial after commercial of over the top holiday cheer can be triggering. If you notice experiencing a negative reaction to this, that is okay. Be careful about setting unrealistic expectations to be happy and then being hard on yourself when you can’t meet them. It is okay not to feel completely cheerful during the holiday season. Instead, check in with yourself and remain aware of how you are feeling. Whatever you feel is perfectly understandable. If you find yourself feeling down or lonely, that means it is time to do something for yourself: take a nice long walk, go to the gym, or take a long warm bath.
If you are feeling lonely and down about the holidays, shifting your focus towards giving to others can be incredibly uplifting. It is a great time of year to volunteer for a charity or give back to your community. Check out which options are available near you; I recommend feeding the homeless at a soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home, or participating in a park clean up. Any of these options will allow you to focus on giving and connecting with others during the holidays, instead of feeling isolated. You might even find that you enjoy volunteering and want to continue it!
I understand that the holidays can be difficult, particularly if you are spending them alone. However, I know it is still doable and you can take some specific steps to work through this time. If you are finding it more than difficult, please reach out for therapy in the South Bay. Together, we can talk through what’s going on and how to cope. Please call my office in Hermosa Beach for your next consultation. I look forward to hearing from you!