We all feel lonely from time to time, and mostly it is a short-term feeling. However, in the current pandemic scenario, loneliness is the most common feeling millions of us experience. For me, the sense of social isolation became very apparent in the last festival months. On Diwali, I was finally confronted with my fear of being alone. Diwali has always represented the joy of being with family and friends, telling stories and dressing up with all your loved ones, and eating tons of good food. However, this year there was a dip in mood and energy level longing for social connection, and not so subtle reminder of what is missing from the lives in terms of families, friends, and communities at large. Since our brains are continually evaluating the circumstances and widespread expectations of what celebrating a festival looks like, it increases our feeling or sense of loneliness when there is a mismatch. Additionally, bombarded by happy people’s visuals through advertisements and social media doesn’t help us who live alone and make us feel as if we are missing out on a special day.

Coping with the disappointments that I cannot do anything in this situation in the usual way, especially when this event has a special meaning, was challenging. I felt the range of emotions from grief, sadness to desolation, which is entirely understandable considering the situation- what helped me was accepting the reality of the problem! It reduced the gap between my expectations of a perfect “festival atmosphere” and the reality of what is possible and how I can balance safety and celebration. I became creative and set a different standard of festivity to enjoy myself and make the most out of the situation.

So the question is- having Christmas around the corner, how do we make ourselves feel better?

  1. Be aware of your feelings: Awareness is key to your mind. If you know, you often feel lonely around the festival’s time. It would help take a few moments to sense where your loneliness is coming from and what kind of care and connection you wish for underneath the loneliness. See how you can support meeting that need.

We are going through a challenging and sometimes lonely time, but it shall pass. We soon will greet with lots of hugs, shared pots of tea, festivities, and celebrations. Until then, let’s be as kind as possible to ourselves and others.

Author: Dr.Krutika Gohil (Neuropsychologist/Cognitive Neurophysiologist)

https://www.krutikagohil.com

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Dr. Krutika Gohil

Digital health innovator, neuropsychologists, writer & consultant