Many people do not have the option or ability to gather with others during the holidays. Some of us might be unable to travel due to COVID-19, work, or finances; others may not be comfortable or safe with family members. While feelings of isolation and loneliness are painful, let’s transform that energy to connect with others and find our community! I’ve compiled a list of ideas for how we can establish and build real connections during the holiday season and beyond.
Ideas for Holiday Connections
- Join a group activity in-person or online. See if there are creative classes, fitness and yoga group workouts, or other activities happening in your community. Check online spaces for virtual happy hours, or start your own weekly meetings with friends.
- Share your skills and time with your community. Work with other people and organizations in your surrounding area to start or stock a food pantry for the upcoming new year. Consider helping at a teaching kitchen or soup kitchen. If your skill set lies elsewhere, research local volunteer opportunities that can make use of your unique expertise.
- Spend time with human and non-human companions. Inquire if your local animal shelter could benefit from having you come in to spend time with the resident dogs and cats. This is a great way to spend your time while also getting to interact with people and animals.
- Don’t be afraid to send out and request invitations. If you know someone else who is alone over the holidays, invite them over to prepare a meal together. You can also reach out to others in order to join events that are happening in your community. Sometimes all you need to do is ask, so don’t be afraid to!
- Establish new holiday rituals. A communal game night or a crafting session are great reasons to get together and help build a routine which involves other people. If meeting in person is not an option, most activities can be hosted online with some small adaptations.
A Note on Social Media
It’s undeniable that social media has become a part of most people’s daily lives. It can help us stay in touch with people, especially when we live far apart or are separated by busy schedules. But it can also impede our ability to create and maintain genuine connections with others. Over the holidays, it’s important to check in with ourselves about social media and how it is making us feel. Ask yourself if you are spending time ruminating on social media, comparing yourself and your experiences to other peoples’ posts, or feeling obligated to be online to stay up-to-date or available. If you find that you are answering yes to these questions, consider taking a break from social media as you focus on yourself, finding your community, and preparing for the new year ahead.
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