The holidays are upon us and while many are excited about spending time with family and friends, others will be spending a lot of time alone and contending with loneliness. Feeling alone is a real problem that can cause much sadness and depression. It can also be very overwhelming at times. If you’re on the road to recovery from alcoholism, the loneliness this time of year may very well act as a trigger for you to drink.
Here are some tips on how to cope during the holidays.
1. Go to AA Meetings
AA meetings are valuable support meetings that can help you feel less lonely and tempted to drink. There you can establish new relationships with people that will accept and encourage you. Some of the visitors may become your good friends, which will help curb loneliness. Be open and friendly at the meetings so you can develop a bond with like-minded people. Also be sure to attend regularly so that you are encouraged and have a chance to get to know people.
2. Get Together with Friends
Spend your holidays in the company of good friends. Just talking to them and getting to know them better will distract you from unwanted feelings of your own which can be very helpful. You may have to make the effort to get together as people are busy and may not be the best at initiating. Talk to others, make plans and put it on the calendar.
Nothing is more useful than helping people who need it. It helps us understand how lucky we are to be able to do something for others and it is truly rewarding. Take time during the holidays and remember that even the smallest things dedicated to other people can help you forget about how lonely you are. It also helps to remember that other people are lonely too, so volunteering is a win-win situation.
4. Take up a Hobby
There’s nothing like a new hobby to get you through the loneliness period of the holidays. Maybe you can go hiking or skiing. If you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, take online classes or check out your local community college to see what they are offering. There are plenty of hobbies to choose from, so try different ones to see what you really like. This will certainly help curb loneliness.
5. Forgive and Carry On
When we are feeling alone, often the best support is the presence of loved ones. However, old wounds may prompt us to build walls that keep them out. Perhaps we feel resentment or other negative emotions about events that occurred in the past. Maybe it is time to break the wall of fear and/or anger and talk to your loved one to reestablish a connection. Sometimes the words “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” can smash walls and heal hearts almost immediately.
Do your best to focus on the things that bring you joy this holiday season. What makes you happy? When you strive to do the little things that make you feel good, you’re less likely to be weighed down by heavy moments of loneliness.