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How to deal with feelings of loneliness during the holiday?

Being alone during the holiday season is a reality for many, and there are various reasons why this might be the case. As an expatriate, the cost of expensive tickets back home might be a limiting factor, making it challenging to join family celebrations. Additionally, interpersonal conflicts or strained relationships might lead to a decision to spend the holidays apart from family, or you might have fallen ill and are unable to see your family. In this situation being alone can lead to feelings of loneliness.


alone during holidays what to do

Experiencing holiday loneliness can be incredibly challenging, especially when it seems like everyone is surrounded by family while you're alone. The tendency to compare your situation with others can intensify these feelings!

To counteract the sense of loneliness during the Christmas season, consider the following steps:



Normalize/validate your feelings

It's completely normal to feel a bit down, especially if you find yourself alone during the holidays while others are joyfully celebrating. Many individuals share similar sentiments, experiencing heightened sadness or loneliness during festive seasons. You're not alone in these emotions.


normalizing validating your loneliness feelings


Do not give up to societal pressure

In society, there's often an idealized image of perfect, happy families, but the reality is that many relationships are imperfect and can face strains. Taking a moment to reflect on your own situation and appreciating what you have might surprise you with the abundance that already exists in your life. Recognizing that what you have is good enough can bring a sense of contentment and ease. Rather than comparing your situation to an idealized standard, appreciating the imperfect beauty of your relationships can lead to a more grounded and positive perspective.

Further, it is important to recognize that comparisons may not accurately reflect the complexities of others' lives. Each person has a unique life journey, and we often don't have insight into the struggles others may be facing behind the scene.


people watching do not give up to societal pressure


Reconnect with your hobbies and interest

View this period as an opportune time to rekindle your connection with hobbies or interests that you may have put on hold. Here, you can find a list of various pleasurable activities.


reconnecting with your hobbies and interest


Refresh your home

Take the time to improve your surroundings, perhaps by redecorating your home, updating furniture, or embarking on a new reconstruction project. The way we live has an impact on how we feel. Whether it's adding a fresh coat of paint, rearranging furniture for better functionality, or undertaking a larger-scale renovation, these changes can contribute to a positive and uplifting atmosphere in your living space and improve your well being.


redocating home to cope with feelings of loneliness

Work on yourself

Establish meaningful goals for yourself. Then consider breaking down larger aspirations into smaller, manageable steps and starts making steps towards it. Whether it would be personal and professional goal working towards them can improve your well-being and be the antidote to loneliness. Dedicate time to explore self-help literature relevant to your goal as a valuable resource for personal growth and well-being. Envisioning and planning positive future through thoughtful planning can generate a strong sense of hope.


women creating goals and following them


Discover your surrounding

Consider planning a mini-trip to nearby cities or even another country. The act of travelling and experiencing a change of scenery can significantly contribute to positive emotions. Whether it's exploring festive markets, trying local cuisine, or immersing yourself in different cultural celebrations, the new experiences can bring joy and a sense of connection.


travelling in holiday to overcome loneliness


Reach out to friends who also seem to be alone

As mentioned, you're probably not alone in feeling this way during this period. Many individuals might be in a similar situation, living far away from their families, and there could be more people than you think who are looking someone to connect. Taking the initiative to reach out and make plans to meet whether it would be a lonely neighbour, co-worker or old friend can be a brave and proactive step. It opens the door to creating new connections, sharing experiences, and finding support!


reaching out to friends to cope with feelings of loneliness


Keep in mind that your perception and interpretation of the holiday period play a significant role in shaping your emotions. Taking the initiative to actively create the life you want during this time can be empowering. By choosing to focus on positive aspects, engaging in activities that bring you joy, and fostering meaningful connections, you have the ability to shape your holiday experience in a way that aligns with your desired life.


As an expat psychologist, I understand that living far from home can sometimes bring forth feelings of loneliness or isolation, especially during the holiday season.

I specialize in providing support to expats navigating the challenges of adjusting to a new culture and building a life in a foreign land. Whether you're dealing with homesickness, cultural adjustments, or the general ups and downs of life, I'm here to assist, you! I provide online and in person sessions in Eindhoven (Veldhoven).

authentic therapy psychologist veldhoven


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