For many, the holidays can be an especially lonely time.
While it feels like the rest of the world is celebrating, perhaps you’re isolated from family, grieving a loved one, or going through a tough time.
Throw in a pandemic – and this time of year can be an absolute stinker. Studies show that almost half of Americans feel lonely or left out.
Unsurprising studies also reveal that 36% of Americans feel lonelier due to the coronavirus situation, with 34% of millennials feeling the same impacts.
As we approach the holiday season, Dr. Dain Heer says:
No matter how lonely you feel, you are not alone.
He also shares some productive tools for dealing with loneliness:
1. Start each day by asking questions.
One of the problems with loneliness is that we don’t see any other options. When you ask a question, you open the door to new possibilities that you couldn’t see before. Asking questions can empower you to change anything. Some suggestions are:
- What can I be or do different today to move beyond this loneliness?
- How does it get any better than this?
- What else is possible here that I’ve never considered?
2. Do the things that are enjoyable for you.
When loneliness feels overwhelming, it’s easy to stop doing the things we enjoy, and we tend to withdraw. Make the choice to turn this around. For one hour each day, do something that’s fun for you – whether that be a walk, read a book, go dancing. Whatever benefits you, do that.
3. A very effective gratitude exercise.
In times of loneliness, write down the names of 50 people you’re grateful for – because the thing about gratitude is it can cancel out feelings of loneliness, doubt, judgement. Then, choose three people from this list every day and send a message of gratitude to them – even a simple, “Just letting you know I’m grateful you’re in my life!” Not only can this brighten someone’s day, but it can also create a connection during times of isolation. It’s a gift two people can share.
4. Stop taking on the energy of others.
What if the loneliness you’re feeling isn’t yours? Here’s the thing, about 98% of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you experience aren’t even yours. You pick up on everything that’s going on around you and you believe that all of that heaviness is yours when it’s not. Here’s what you can do. For 3 days, every time you notice loneliness, ask, “Who does this belong to?” If you notice that things feel lighter when you ask the question, it was never yours.
5. Stop trying to fix you.
When you feel lonely, it can be hard to find that happy feeling no matter how hard you try. Often you decide there’s something wrong with you and start desperately trying to “fix” it. We spend so much time judging ourselves. Imagine how much lighter you’d feel if you stopped? Try asking this question every day: “What’s right about me that I’m not getting?”
6. Find someone to run your Bars!
The most powerful light touch technique that can help dissipate the busy thoughts and ease the monkey mind. If you are interested in learning about Access Bars or finding a facilitator near you, you can visit the Access Bars website or connect with us on Instagram.
To help you sail through the holidays and cultivate an attitude of gratitude, despite what is going on in the world, Dain has created a series of You Got This audios. Check out his 20 minute gem on gratitude!