Reframing Loneliness During the Holiday Period
Media representations are awash with seemingly happy families having fun together. With more time on their hands, some people may feel more vulnerable at this time of year as they reflect on their different situations. What can cause people to feel lonely? Maybe they have suffered a loss, and those feelings are more prominent at Christmas. Or perhaps loneliness comes from a fractured family and a less-than-harmonious family unit that affects an individual’s sense of belonging. The cost of living may mean the holiday season budget is lower than average, triggering feelings of inadequacy.
Whatever the reason, there is a way to reframe loneliness so it isn’t overwhelming.
Loneliness starts with our thoughts
Firstly, it’s essential to acknowledge that loneliness comes from our thoughts. The good news is that it’s possible to change our thoughts. Why is this important? Practising thought reframing can enhance your understanding of the intricate relationship between your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Identifying and transforming unconstructive thinking patterns can lead to an improved sense of well-being. Consequently, you will be better equipped to navigate the obstacles that arise in life. This newfound ability may empower you to cope with feelings of loneliness.
Intercepting our thought process is key to changing behaviours, helping us stay connected throughout the holiday season. How can you start intercepting those thought patterns?
One effective approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns that contribute to feelings of loneliness. CBT helps individuals reframe their thoughts and beliefs.
How does it do this? CBT can help you replace thoughts that make you feel lonely with more positive and empowering ones.
Individuals can begin cultivating a sense of hope and resilience by recognising that loneliness is temporary and not permanent.
Through CBT, therapists can also encourage individuals to engage in activities that promote connection and socialisation. This may involve:
- Reaching out to friends or family members
- Joining community groups or clubs and making some homemade gifts
- Volunteering for a charity providing Christmas meals
- Accepting invitations
By actively seeking out opportunities for social interaction, individuals can expand their social networks and combat feelings of loneliness.
CBT for managing thoughts and feelings
CBT is a valuable tool in reframing loneliness. It can help you become more aware of your thoughts and how they make you feel, giving you the power to change them. However, it is essential to recognise that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness but rather a courageous and proactive step towards improving mental well-being. Online therapy has become increasingly popular and accessible, providing individuals with a convenient and confidential platform to receive support from licensed therapists.
Benefits of online therapy for loneliness
Online therapy can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to explore their feelings of loneliness and develop coping strategies. Having someone to talk to can help guide you through feelings of loneliness, creating a healthier mindset and lifestyle. With your therapist, you can create a plan for navigating your feelings for a happier journey throughout the holiday season.
Reframing loneliness during the holiday period is a powerful and transformative process. Reach out to the team at Onebright, who can provide online and face-to-face therapy options; you are not alone.