Research commissioned by Age UK found that half a million older people across the UK are expecting to feel lonely this Christmas, of whom four in five (79%) have not sought any help for this. For half of those (52%), loneliness has become a ‘normal’ part of life.
Christmas is meant to be a time for celebration and joy but it can also be a period of stress, anxiety and for some of us …. forced togetherness! Everywhere you look people are busy rushing around trying hard to get everything done, the festivities, office parties, drinks with friends, family time around the table! And all the while some of us just crave our own company …and to be alone!
Do you feel happy to be alone at Christmas?
Its important to point out that there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. You may prefer to be on your own, seeking company on your own terms, when you want it. Being alone can be a perfectly natural personal choice and shows you are easy with yourself. It can be a positive, healthy option that allows “me” time to rest, recharge and rejuvenate.
You are probably self-confident and don’t need people around you for validation. That’s because you value your own company. You can easily cut through all that forced Christmas intimacy – that can be both unwelcome and unnatural – and keep a balance so you can join in when you want feel like it and step away rather than going through the motions!
However you might feel really anxious about being alone and choose to avoid it. You might be a natural extrovert, getting a buzz and a sense of identity from being the centre of attention and the shared connectedness!
But some of you might crave a crowd because the last person you want to spend time with .. is yourself!
The trouble with Christmas is it becomes a painful lens through which you reflect your fears and anxieties of being alone and that can be lack of self-confidence, self-worth, fears of abandonment or rejection. Loneliness is an emotional state. It can leave you feeling cut off or missing out and that can lead to social isolation. So even in a crowd, no matter how festive, you can feel completely alone.
Feel at ease with your “alone-ness”
You need a mental shift from feeling lonely, to feeling at ease and even embracing and celebrating your ‘aloneness’.
Remember it’s a choice you are making! So be brave! Understanding the difference between being alone and, making a conscious decision to embrace the emotional and mental advantages of having your own time, can help you overcome your fears and, as a result, help you become more confident in being alone.
There are so many advantages in being alone by choice – time to focus on your own thoughts, spoiling yourself, being selfless in being selfish! By being alone you can make the time you do spend with others more enjoyable. Remember that being alone, even at Christmas, doesn’t mean being lonely!
Personal centred NLP integrative hypnotherapist, life coach and occupational psychologist Jivan is focused on helping her clients T.H.R.I.V.E to lead healthier and happier personal and working lives.https://www.jivandempsey.com
Whether you are experiencing stress and anxiety, performance issues, problems with relaxation or sleeping, depression, fears and phobias, self confidence or self esteem issues, pain management, weight loss or breaking habits (including addictions such as smoking), Jivan can help relieve your symptoms after just 1 or 2 sessions, but with further sessions she will educate and encourage ongoing health and wellness to support lasting and lifelong change.