Alone for the holidays

Alone for the holidays

No matter the time of year or season, having skills to help avoid and intervene with loneliness is important because research shows it can have adverse effects on health. Don't get mad at loneliness — get even using these tips:

BEING ALONE IS NOT UNCOMMON
Humans are social beings, so the holiday period always puts an accent on overcoming loneliness. With slightly more than half of Americans now single — the most in history — a sizeable portion of the population may spend the holidays on their own.

People end up as singletons on holidays for a variety of reasons. Some live far away from family or have jobs that require they work the holiday. Those who are grieving sometimes choose to spend the day alone. Others have dysfunctional families that can turn a happy holiday into a depressing day of drama that they would rather avoid. Some people need the social stimulation the holidays offer, while others may not.

AVOID THE RUT AND TRIGGERS
If you find yourself without holiday plans and wish to celebrate, take action. Don’t sit and reason, trying to think your way out of feeling bad or down. The most effective way to intervene is by taking action. Behavior works faster on feelings than reasoning, and it’s more efficient. Plan now, and create action steps. Doing so can help you avoid “depression triggers” that can throw you into a rut.

CREATE AN INTERVENTION PLAN
Grab a calendar and plan concrete steps in writing that you will take when the holiday period arrives. Will you open your home to other single friends? Will you seek volunteer opportunities nearby? What about helping feed the homeless or perhaps singing carols at a nursing home? These activities are tried-and-true intervention steps others have used to overcome loneliness and experience gratitude.

Check the newspaper and begin your to-do list of events, special “me-time” treats, day trips, and new and unusual ways to fill the days. Look for free events around town at galleries, museums, dressed-up old homes and parades.

Look to your community for creative opportunities, such as spending the day with military members stationed in your town or baking cookies and taking them to your city’s first responders.

"REFRAME" LONELINESS
Reframing is a healthy way of choosing to look at a situation another way. An example of a reframe is recognizing that although you can’t be at a certain holiday event on a specific day and are alone right now, you will be with those people you care about or love in the future at another specific event, so you choose to look forward to that time instead of feeling trapped in a lonely state at the moment.

AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA TAILSPIN
Social media can contribute to feelings of loneliness, isolation and depression, especially during the holidays. So, consider limiting your time online. At the very least, remain aware of its potential to show you an unrealistic view of life — friends post only the good.

YES, GOOGLE IT
A quick way to find 1,001 ideas to intervene with loneliness is to search “how to avoid loneliness during the holidays.” It’s nearly guaranteed that you will find ideas appropriate for your situation.

ENGAGEMENT IS THE SECRET
The secret to lifting your spirit is engagement with others. Enjoy the holidays whether you are with others or alone. However, be sure you experience daily interactions with people to safeguard your health throughout the year. You will feel more uplifted, experience less negative self-talk, and have accomplishments you will look back on with fond memories.

Our Customers Say it Best

  • MacPractice, Inc
    MacPractice, Inc

    "The support and assistance Continuum provides to our employees, their families, and to our company is invaluable. We are proud to partner with them in providing our staff with such a tremendous resource."
    - Loretta Young, Director of Human Resources, MacPractice, Inc.

  • Hexagon Lincoln
    Hexagon Lincoln

    “Hexagon views Continuum EAP as a key business partner and a valued resource for our employee populace. Continuum provides high-quality — and confidential — educational and counseling services for “Team Hexagon.” The professional staff is always available and willing to help at a moment’s notice.”
    - Matt Becker, Human Resources Manager, Hexagon Lincoln

  • NebraskaLand National Bank
    NebraskaLand National Bank

    “Continuum has been such a great benefit for NebraskaLand National Bank. Once a month we offer employees a “Lunch ‘N Learn” where we feature a Continuum HelpNet webinar and provide lunch. We have received great feedback from employees and attendance continues to increase each month.”
    - Stacey Dawkins, Human Resources, NebraskaLand National Bank

  • Lincoln Electric System
    Lincoln Electric System

    “Continuum remains proactive in offering monthly workshops that address what organizations are currently experiencing in today’s work environment. They are also a great resource when wanting to bring customized training onsite to address topics relevant to the larger employee population. The Continuum staff has been professional, helpful, cooperative and effective.”
    - Anita Schinstock, Learning & Development, Lincoln Electric System

  • Duncan Aviation

    "We look to Continuum as a strategic partner, in helping our employees cope with stress at work and at home, which leads to improved work performance, decreased absenteeism, and greater workforce retention."
    - Leon Holloway, Team Member Services Manager, Duncan Aviation

  • Union Bank and Trust
    Union Bank and Trust

    "Continuum EAP's dedication to providing a vast array of personalized services to our employees and their family members is invaluable. Their response time, individualized attention, and thoroughness to make our employee's personal and professional health and well-being a top priority is superior."
    - Chad Thies, Vice President, Union Bank & Trust

  • Assurity Life Insurance
    Assurity Life Insurance

    "Continuum is part of Assurity's high performance culture. Trust has been created for associates who use their services for personal life issues but also for work issues whether they refer themselves or a supervisor refers them. Continuum's expertise demonstrated by all staff aligns to our mission and values and helps associates understand there are resources available for them and their families. The value the Assurity Team receives from Continuum is a measure of performance and risk management. I have worked with them for over 20 years and would choose them over the other two employee assistance programs that I have worked with."
    - Jan Zoucha, Assurity Life Insurance

  • NE State College System
    NE State College System

    "The Nebraska State College System has been very pleased with the services we've received from Continuum. Continuum's experience and expertise have served our employees and College administrators very well. Continuum is extremely responsive and skilled at coaching, consulting, and providing a variety of employee assistance services. In addition, our employee feedback from training sessions has been very positive."
    - Kristen Petersen, General Counsel & Vice Chancellor, NE State College System

Powered by Firespring.org