Thursday, December 15, 2011

Feeling Alone During the Holiday Season

Feeling Alone
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live



The holiday season is a wonderful time of year for many of us.  Filled with joy, laughter, great food, and the company of loved one's, the Christmas season keeps us busy three fold with festivities.  It's a beautiful time of year when you have people around you to share the love.

However, not everyone has this pleasure - to be around family, friends, or loved ones.  Whether you are a soldier away at war, have experienced a death of a partner or child, made a recent move to another part of the country, or remember the dark Christmas pasts with drunk gatherings and abuse, sometimes celebrating the holiday season with joy can be extremely difficult; and, feeling alone may result.

What's important to remember is that there is a somber sort of energy around this time of year that seems to be more magnified than other times.  Perhaps it's the recognition of the collective consciousness.  Also, even when you're around family, somehow there is this melancholy that hangs around.  

Anyways, I was standing in line at the post office this week and the lady in front of me said, "Isn't there a strange feeling in the air at this time of year?"  I was kind of zoned out watching one of the postal workers tearing perforated sheets with such speed and accuracy.  I  got to thinking about what she'd said and began noticing the polar energies.  What seems a little odd yet so true is that we can't have one energy without the other.  In order to feel love, we need to know hate; in order to feel joy, we need to experience sadness; and, in order to feel fulfilled or satisfied we need to know what loneliness is.

I understand that in the moments and days of loneliness you probably don't want to hear about the two opposing energies.  But, maybe you do, and, just maybe, that may be the trick to get you through to the next day.  Nonetheless, I will leave you with some thoughts on how to support yourself during this time of year.

1.)  Reach out to others.  This may be quite challenging for some of you, but I can guarantee that the one you seek out to reach, is seeking out to reach for someone, too.  We all disguise ourselves as being fulfilled and content to keep up with the status quo and the social norm.  Many of us have way too much pride, but someone has to be first at reaching out.

2.)  Treat yourself.  Chocolate and baked goods may not be the best thing for you when you're feeling alone and down.  Instead, go for a great book!  Let go of the self-help ones for now; grab a mystery, short story, or fantasy.  Immerse yourself into it.  Maybe buying a nice fluffy fleece throw blanket and a couple of classical movies would be great, too.

3.)  Journal.  Some of my clients journal, making it more of a task that has to be done, recalling what they did that day, and what needs to be done.  STOP.  That's business journalling.  The writing I'm suggesting is about your thoughts and emotions that surface in the moment.  They could be funny, remembrance, or teary.  Journal whatever comes up from within.

4.)  Learn to be comfortable with solitude.  There is nothing wrong with being alone.  It's rather good for us when we look at it from a positive perspective.  Even when your body is dragging with loneliness, 'be' with those feelings and know that they will eventually pass.  Look inside yourself  to see what loneliness has to offer you.  What is it trying to say to you?

5.)   Write a letter.  Whether this person is still alive or not, write a letter to denote your love, admiration or perhaps even anger.  You may experience a great sense of relief.

6.)  Go for a walk; try some yoga at home; or how about some meditation.  Movement and centering always does wonders for the central nervous system.

7.)  Donate your time to a charitable organization; or make some sandwiches for the homeless.  There are so many places to get involved for a few hours a day.  It's a great way to refocus on others desperate for shelter and food. 

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


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