It is needless to say that Christmas as an adult or a person living away from home is different. There was no snow at Christmas in Nigeria. What we had was the harmattan season. During this period, the atmosphere was foggy and people who didn’t moisturize properly had chapped lips and ashy skin.
At home, my siblings and I looked forward to putting up the Christmas tree. My brother being the tallest one in the house was usually recruited to bring the decor from where it was stowed. The sound of exploding bangers and fireworks was resounding, and the joy was infectious.
Things changed when I moved away for University. I would be spending Christmas away from the country and people I had known all my life. They never accurately describe home-sickness and words fail me even now. The first year was hard. And coupled with the snowstorms that hit Charlottetown, I ached for the comforts of home. Thankfully, my good friend, Bernadette asked me to join her family for midnight mass and a meal. I died of joy!
Being alone is hard, especially during festive seasons. You may be lonely because of loss or separation, but I hope the tips below will help you with melancholia in some way.
Christmas occurs at the tail-end of the year. Being alone offers you quality time to take stock of the year coming to an end. In doing my self-reflection, I made a list of my successes, failures, and miracles. You may take it further by setting goals you intend to achieve in the coming year. Ensure that your goals are challenging yet realistic, time-based, measurable, and specific. This gives you a chance to get things right in the coming year and to savor the triumphs of the ending year.
Speaking of triumphs, why are we more likely to focus on failures than merits?
2. Journal/Seek help
Catharsis is the practice of releasing strong and repressed memories through aggressive action. Although an ancient practice, it has been found to be ineffective. Journaling is similar in intention and works. It important to understand the root-cause of the emotions we experience. Pour your heart out on a sheet of paper until you can’t go any further.
If you feel like you are in over your head, seek help. When coping with loss, it is crucial. There is no shame in that.
3. Help Others
Rendering assistance where it is needed shifts the focus from us to other individuals. It also helps us realize that what we take for granted, others consider blessings. Giving especially has been linked with the release of oxytocin. It is a hormone that induces feelings of warmth, euphoria, and connection to others. The more you give, the more you get.
4. Celebrate Friendsgiving
This term has surfaced in recent times and is used to describe the celebration of Thanksgiving with friends. Who says we can’t have it at Christmas? Since people are with their families on Christmas day, get together with the ones who truly care about few days before or after the 25th. That can help chase the blues away. It might also help if you don’t wait to be invited, initiate the event. And if you get an invitation, say yes even if you don’t feel like it.
5. Do Something Productive
For me, cleaning is therapeutic. If work of any kind has the same effect on you, do it. Clean out a closet, scrub bathtubs, wipe furniture. Whatever it may be, do something that makes you feel like you have a handle on things.
I can’t promise that things will change overnight, but you will live.