Winter is almost in full swing, and the festive season is around the corner. These months always create mixed emotions: for some, it's filled with joy and cheer, but for others, it might mean feeling lonelier than usual. And you're not alone; it's totally okay to feel this way.
While some are reveling in family gatherings and celebrations with friends, there are many young people who dread the holiday season for various reasons.
Remember, feeling lonely is a universal human experience - we all feel it sometimes, even when we’re surrounded by people. Here are some ways to help you combat loneliness and cope with the winter blues:
1. Stay Active: When you're feeling low, exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing. But it’s one of the first things you should do. Physical activity not only helps to reduce anxiety but also improves mood by releasing endorphins - chemicals in the brain that act as natural mood boosters. If you’re able to, why not go for a walk with a friend?
2. Grow your network: Getting out of your comfort zone to try new things can mean meeting other like minded young people! Join a club or extracurricular activity that you think you could enjoy and just give it a go. It can be scary to meet new people, but they’re often just as worried as you are! Be brave and take the first step, you never know what meaningful relationships await you.
3. Connect Virtually: If the cold is too bitter for a hangout, or you’re in a different country to your friends or family, connect with them online. You can play games together, have a Netflix party, or simply catch up over a hot chocolate.
4. Give Back to Your Community: Acts of kindness can combat feelings of isolation and disconnection. Joining a volunteer group to help others can create a sense of belonging and community and is a great way to meet other young volunteers.
5. Learn to enjoy some alone time: This is the perfect time to invest time in yourself or something you love. Enjoy reading? Curl up with a good book. Love music? Explore and level up your playlists. Ever wanted to start painting? Get that canvas out! Nurturing your interests makes you self-sufficient and can create a great sense of satisfaction and achievement.
Remember, winter and the holiday season isn't forever. It's a season. Loneliness too, is just a season of life and will come and go. Just as winter makes way for the blooming spring, feeling lonely right now doesn’t mean it will always be this way.
There’s no shame in seeking help. If your feelings of loneliness become overwhelming, remember there are always people there to listen and you do not have to deal with it on your own.
Just because you're experiencing loneliness doesn't mean you're alone. Turn those winter blues into a rainbow of hope. You’ve got this!
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