Feeling unappreciated during holidays and how to cope

It can be hard to cope with feeling unappreciated by your family and loved ones any time of year, but for some reason holidays are the toughest season to get through. Whether you are isolated from your family or social circles by choice or against your wishes, it can be very painful to face a festive holiday when many others are enjoying special time with their loving families and friends. The memories of past holidays can be especially haunting when surrounded by annual reminders. People who already feel lonely at other times of the year often face deep loneliness during holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day can be especially taxing, since they occur during a time of year that, at least for those who live in the northern hemisphere, Seasonal Affective Disorder also causes symptoms of depression for many individuals.

If you struggle with feelings of loneliness during holidays, it can help to plan ahead. If you prepare yourself by practicing coping mechanisms throughout the year, you may find that holidays can become easier to bear over time.

Here are some coping mechanism that help with loneliness during holidays:

Practice self care

Making your alone time more pleasant can help you care for yourself and self-soothe. This can look like a lot of different things for different people, because everyone enjoys different things. Some common strategies are to take a hot bath to relax, using your favorite products with scents you enjoy. Lighting candles can help make it feel special. Or, take the time to thoughtfully prepare one of your favorite meals. This can help perk up your appetite whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed by a sense of loneliness during the holidays. And don’t forget to move your body in the ways you like best. Even during the poor weather that can sometimes accompany the holiday season, going for a walk can help you reset and ground your emotions.

Lean into gratitude

Although it sounds like a cliche, it can help you combat feelings of loneliness to count your blessings. Meditating on all the parts and people in your life that bring you joy, nourishment, or help you survive, can help you cultivate a sense of gratefulness. This positive feeling can counterbalance feeling unappreciated during the holidays.

Take care of others

Even if you are feeling lonely and may not have family or friends to care for during the holiday season, there is always someone who could use a helping hand. You might be able to volunteer for a cause that you care about–whether that means helping people, animals, or even local parks and natural preserve areas. Volunteering can help you set aside your own troubles and focus on making improvements for someone else’s benefit, which can help you gain perspective in your own life.

If you have tried some of these strategies and are still finding yourself struggling with feelings of loneliness or that you are unappreciated during the holidays, the caring and compassionate team of counselors at Chenal Family Therapy are standing by to help. Contact us today to make an appointment.