Episode # 14: Dealing with Loneliness during this COVID Holiday Season

Dr. Connie Omari
Hey, hey, hey, this is Dr. O, ah, the holidays are here. How are you feeling about them?

Um, I don’t know, in my world, I’m kind of Yeah, I guess it’s going pretty well, so far. But you know, I’m a little bit in my feelings that I won’t be able to see my mom during this holiday season, at least not for Christmas, and we won’t be able to take the kids because of COVID. So I figured I would do a show to talk a little bit about some of the things that you can do. Because I know I’m not alone. I’m being lonely during the holidays is certainly not going to be fun for anybody. But some people are going to just have it even worse, because they’re going to be like me and not be able to have that normal feeling of connection that the holidays typically bring. So if that’s you or someone that you care about, you’re going to want to tune in really closely, because I’ve got some great ideas that I think that will help you to fight loneliness during the holiday.

Okay, the first thing I want to suggest that you do is be good to yourself, okay, find ways that you can actually enjoy the solitude, maybe you can take a relaxing bath, curl up and read a good book, I have tons that I can recommend for you, you can go to my practice website tech, talk therapy, calm, my book is up there, but I have other resources. My creative art journals, my creative art, color, adult coloring books will be useful for you, but just stimulate your mind in some way shape, or form and do things that you enjoy doing. You can find a hobby or learn something new. You can see Netflix and chill. You know, you don’t have to necessarily find companionship and connection in the way that you normally do. You can make your own rules. I mean, that’s all about living, right. And living our best life is being able to be accommodating and do what makes us feel good.

So this holiday season, whether you’re able to be with other people, or be by yourself, treating yourself good is a priority. So let’s do that. All right, I also want you to be reminded that, you know, you’re not alone. Um, other people wish they can be with their family and can’t So know that it’s not an issue of you not being good enough, or it’s not an issue of people not wanting to be around you. And I feel comfortable saying that because I kind of took it personally when I I mean, I’ll be honest, I asked my mom, if I could come see her for Christmas. She was like, No, you know, and I’m just like, what you mean? What you mean, you know, so it’s not personal. You know, there’s some things that I had said about, well, what if this was the last Christmas, you know, that I don’t know, that I was going to be around or something like that. And, and she made the same comment, you know, mine was more or less being facetious, but hers was like,

Well, you know, y’all call me doctor. Oh, she of course, I’m her Connie, she’s like, Honey, what if this is the last Christmas that I have, because, you know, I get COVID and so you know, I was it put a whole new perspective on things. So if you kind of sometimes jump on the sensitive bus and, and take things personally, I encourage you not to do that during this time. Um, what we really need to do is, you know, rethink your expectations. Realize that it’s just fine to take a good friend to a holiday party or be around a difficult family member that still loves you and has helped many people feel less lonely. Um, I’m sorry, let me rephrase that being around an imperfect family member. So for those of you who can be around family members, but you’re not going to be with your significant other, maybe live with your mom or you know, maybe your precautions are accommodating so that you can be around each other during COVID do that and and you don’t worry about the fact that you’re not going to have a friend with you or a significant other with you bring a friend you know if they’re open to it, and it doesn’t violate any of your social distancing rules, but change your expectations, okay, and I’m trying to get my ideas together on this point I’m trying to present.

I think a lot of times when single women come home to their families, there’s always this expectation of who they’re going to bring. And if you don’t have a significant other in this form as a mate, then there you can, there’s a likelihood that you, there’s a tendency for you to feel judged, I don’t want you to feel that way, I want you to be reminded that you can change your expectations, if you have to bring a friend, instead of a significant other, if you have to be around family members who are difficult, they only get to, they only can have enough authority to influence you if you allow them to. Okay, so so keep that in mind. find other ways also that you can get connected. So you may feel lonely when surrounded by people, but it’s harder to feel lonely when you’re reaching out to them.

So just, you know, speak to your neighbors, you know, if you’re outside getting in and out of a car, um, write holiday cards, or pick up a phone, yes, we still do that in 2020. Pick up a phone and call an old friend that you haven’t spoke to a while reaching out to people and strengthening bonds can help you feel more connected and less lonely. So you can find creative ways you can even send text messages, that’s fine. Sometimes I send the silliest little things to my husband. During the day, for those of you who don’t know, while we are together, he is in a different location because of his job. So Monday through Well, he leaves Monday mornings typically and doesn’t, I usually don’t see him until Friday evenings.

So we can still be connected, because we’re doing those little silly things throughout our time apart. And finally, and this is really important, I want to encourage you to cultivate gratitude. So think about what you do have a right, I hope we are doing the gratitude journaling. Again, I have samples of that on my website, you can also think of ways to give to others who are less lonely, if we are still doing like. And don’t quote me on this, because I don’t know which places are doing this. But if we’re doing like food drives and things like that, but Google and look and see what types of opportunities are available to volunteer, virtually online, I’ll probably I’m doing a lot of donating to causes and stuff that I’m really passionate about. So that’s what I’ve been doing recently.

But you know, at the end of the day, it’s really about doing everything that you can to make sure that you’re not wallowing up and self pity because when you do that you feel worse. So I just want to review my tips for you today. I want you to be good to yourself. I want you to understand that you’re not alone. I want you to rethink your expectations. I want you to get connected, and I want you to find as many ways as possible to cultivate gratitude. All right, thank you so much for your time today. I hope you found these tips helpful and will help I hope they help you to not feel lonely during this holiday season. As always, I appreciate you allowing me to walk beside you on this journey. Peace and blessings.