Loneliness during the Holidays
Posted by Improving Lives Counseling | Articles
Holidays can be difficult financially, economically, socially, and for many, emotionally. Invitations are offered and accepted for Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas parties, and New Year’s Eve celebrations, however Valentine’s Day, like birthdays and anniversaries, can be trying. Pegged by many as “Singles Awareness Day”, Valentine’s Day often reminds the lonely of just how “lonely” they are. Like birthdays no one remembers, the anniversary of the death of a loved one, or the date divorce papers were signed, the list of days of remembrances, like Valentine’s Day, can be a very lonely time. Physically, these days can trigger a mental, physical, or emotional reaction, often leading to anger, guilt, anxiety, and, for many, depression. Visiting with an Improving Lives Counseling Services counselor or therapist can help. Making that appointment prior to the date is important, particularly in the case of bereavement. If the love of your life made Valentine’s Day special, acknowledging the absence and accepting the loss could take longer than expected. The mere approach of these “Single Awareness Days” can prompt feelings of overwhelming loneliness.
Loneliness is an emotional response to the absence of companionship. It can also be defined as a feeling of isolation or an inability to connect with others. A spouse who forgets an anniversary, a birthday no one remembers, or a career that separates you from family and friends, can lead to a feeling of loneliness. A child who finds it hard to make friends, a senior housed in a care facility, or a cancer patient going through chemo, can also experience loneliness. Top psychologists have connected loneliness to genetics, periods of isolation, early onset depression, and low self-esteem. What many find surprising is drug abuse, behavioral disorders, memory loss, immunity, and heart disease have been linked to feelings of loneliness.
Living your life through friends on Facebook or following people on Twitter will not cure overwhelming feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is a sign that something is wrong. Understanding the effects loneliness has and can have on your life mentally and physically, understanding that loneliness is based on individual perception, and admitting that professional help, guidance, and support is needed, is a start. The counselors and therapists of Improving Lives Counseling Services offer individual, family, and group sessions to explore the cause, identify the symptoms, diagnosis the condition, and develop a plan of treatment. You deserve to live the life you were meant to live. Call us today.