Christmas can be a time of great joy and happiness. It can bring out the best in people and bring people together. On the other hand, Christmas can feel very lonely. It can feel lonely if you aren’t in a relationship. It can feel lonely in a relationship, if you aren’t getting on, or if there is a disconnection in your relationship. It can feel lonely if you have lost someone close to you or if someone is ill.
I remember one Christmas in my late 20s when I was on the verge of a burnout. I had been with my partner (now husband) for about 6 years and I felt completely lonely. However, it wasn’t his fault. He was loving, kind, appreciative and I was keeping him at an emotional arm’s length.
‘Yes, I’m fine.’ I would say if he asked how I was. I’d say this even if I felt I was feeling hollow inside. I didn’t want to admit to him, or myself, how wretched I felt in the profession I had chosen to be in for the rest of my life!! (Or so I thought.) Christmas felt lonely. I wasn’t enjoying anyone’s company, not really. I was going through the motions and all I could think about, constantly, was the work I ‘should’ have been doing, in the moments when I wasn’t doing it. I felt a failure. I felt lonely. So, if you are having a hard time this Christmas and you are feeling lonely here’s what I have learned from the experience, coupled with a couple of coaching tools to help you take a step forward to connection.
Say, 'I am lonely.'
No blaming. No attacking. No shaming. Simple vulnerability. Chances are they are feeling it too. By stating it you open up the possibility of change; of reconnecting; of intimacy.
If you are not in a relationship (or you are and the loneliness comes from outside of the relationship) but have found a distance between you and your family/friends, find the one person you love and trust the most and do the same. State how you feel.
2. Ask yourself what you have been giving to the relationship?
Be honest with yourself. I felt lonely in my relationship, but I had created the chasm between us myself. I hadn’t allowed myself to communicate how I was feeling honestly with my partner or my friends. I felt a failure so I kept it in and distanced myself instead.
I wasn’t giving anything to the relationships around me and it was a vicious cycle of escaping into the very work that was making me feel lonely, despite being surrounded by people 24/7.So, how are you communicating? Who are you making connections with?
3. Gain a solution focused approach
Once you’ve been honest with yourself, it’s time to take responsibility for that which you can control?
Get solution focused questions that inspire action and manage expectations.
What will I do to connect with someone I love today?
Where can I find likeminded people who lift me up?
How can I enjoy a conversation with someone today?
What will I do to give the love of my life some joy today?
Who might be lonelier than I am and how can I help them?
You are not alone. There is always someone to connect with. Go and find them and make a life (not just a Christmas) filled with love.
If you want to gain a solution focused approach on a daily basis, and be surrounded by some of the most giving women I know, give yourself the gift of a monthly subscription to my sisterhood (You can cancel at any time so there is no risk). Click here to join
Do you have any tips you'd like to share in the comments?