At a time when many families are busy planning a warm Christmas holiday surrounded by loved ones, there are others who look toward the season with loneliness.
The holidays are welcomed by some, and dreaded by others. It all depends on what’s happening in your life and the meaning the holidays hold for you. They can be beautiful reminders of times spent with loved ones. They can also be painful as you reflect on loved ones who’ve passed, relationships that have run their course, or personal challenges with those you’ve celebrated with in the past and everything is now different because you’ve been betrayed, heartbroken and more.
Being alone during the winter season can be discouraging. Not only are you lonely, but in many parts of the world, it’s also cold outside. That combination can make anyone blue and it’s totally understandable.
Fortunately, there are ways to counteract your feelings and bring in some warmth.
Try the following ideas to warm your heart and soul:
- Care for those less fortunate. Look around and you’ll very likely find stories about shelters that are doing something special for those less fortunate this winter. Why not sign up as a volunteer and take part in the following ways:
- Being a food server as homeless people come into a shelter for meals.
- Reading bedtime stories to kids who seek refuge in a homeless shelter is a great way to bond with someone and open your heart to caring for another person. Many homeless kids don’t know what it feels like to have someone care for them. Seeing their eyes light up with pleasure can bring you more joy than it brings them.
- Taking some warm clothes to homeless people can be a heartwarming experience for you as well. Your generous act contributes to the comfort, health, and safety of those who might be in dire straits without your help.
- Donate to charity. If you’re not inclined to visit a shelter, or if you don’t have the opportunity to do so, you could always make a donation to a charity of your choice. You won’t be directly involved in the lives of those you’ve contributed to, but your contribution will still be felt.
- Ship a box of fun toys and gifts, individually wrapped, to a local children’s home.
- Donate to a charity that helps a population you’re called to support.
- Take a vacation. There’s no better time to treat yourself to an exciting vacation than during a winter when you’re feeling lonely. Pick somewhere with lots of activities and allow yourself to be open to meeting other people who are sharing a similar experience.
- Go somewhere warm and sunny.
- Spend a few days at a spa resort.
- Visit a country you’ve always wanted to visit.
It’s so easy to give in to those feelings of loneliness, but taking purposeful action to make your moments bright and memorable this winter will bring you the warmth you crave. Who knows, maybe the decisions you make on how to celebrate the holidays this year inspires a newly treasured tradition for you along with those who benefit from whatever you decide to do this year.
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute