For many of us, the holidays are synonymous with family, so spending a holiday alone can be a rough experience. This year, with restrictions on travel, social gatherings and other traditional aspects of the holidays, many of us have been on our own throughout the season, maybe for the first time ever. As the new year progresses, we find ourselves continuing to quarantine while others seem to be disregarding CDC guidelines and spending time with friends and family. Knowing this is happening may increase our loneliness and leave us feeling as if we are isolated in the world.
You may be looking toward the vaccine as the antidote which will allow you to return to “normal.” Unfortunately, the vaccine distribution has been unorganized and slow, which has us feeling like this will never end. The New Year leaves us with a massive span of quarantine time ahead with no end in sight. While this may be difficult, keep in mind that there are many things you can do to ensure you feel connected during this time.
- Stay in Touch: You may not be able to be with your loved ones physically, but you can still be in contact with them. Schedule time for everyone to join together on a video chat over Zoom or Skype or other virtual gathering platform.
- Volunteer: Another good option for being around others is volunteering. Many organizations, including soup kitchens and homeless shelters, need extra volunteers during this time. Ask to help out – you may even find yourself making new friends. Just remember to adhere to guidelines for safe interactions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Adopt a Pet: A pet can be a great companion if you are lonely. If you have one, get it a special treat and enjoy its company. If you do not have a pet, this quarantine time may be a great opportunity to adopt one.
Ways to reward yourself to help get through this difficult time:
- Movie marathon with your favorite snacks
- Stocking up on books and reading them with a hot beverage.
- Focus on self-improvement.
- Home-care projects you’ve been putting off
- Ice skating or skiing, where possible
- Going for a drive
- Home spa treatments
- Bicycle riding
- Taking a winter hike
- Dining outdoors at a favorite or special restaurant
Learning to cope with being alone during this quarantine can be a challenge. The pain of loneliness can lead to unhealthy coping skills such as overeating, abusing alcohol or overspending. Instead, try to identify healthy ways to cope with your feelings. Go for a walk, engage in a hobby, or do something kind for yourself. Limit your time on social media if you find yourself getting depressed at other’s posts. Most importantly, remember you are not alone.