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If you find yourself constantly aware of wanting to be alone and hibernate, to play the hermit, to sit home alone and feel sorry for yourself, you are pushing yourself down into a depression, illness, or worse. Be proactive, and you can make it through the holidays without the darkness claiming your happiness! Choosing to dwell on the more depressing aspects of your life can be dangerous.

I won’t be a cheerleader here, because I’ve been there, and I know how the pep talks can irritate when you feel like “hiding.” If you’ll hear me out, think about making the following choices during the holidays. Everywhere you look, they’re “selling” family and relationships on TV, in movies, on the radio… how can you avoid feeling lonely?

 
Don’t automatically say no. When friends ask you out, or over, or to a party, don’t say no immediately, and do not melodramatically claim that they are “only” doing it because they feel “sorry” for you. No matter what, why, or how, this is an opportunity to enjoy the company of others, to find something funny and laugh, or to meet new people, or find new interests. If you stop that knee jerk reaction of “No, I just want to go home and be alone” and say, “Thank you, I’ll come for a while,” you may end up having fun.
 
Stay away from “downers” – sad movies, morose “he dun me wrong” music, people that are negative. If your family of origin is a downer… plan a trip to see friends or loved ones that you enjoy over the holidays instead! Or do something fun and invite a friend.
 
If it winds up that you happen to spend one of those “family days” when you are “feeling” alone, you can plan a special dinner and movie for yourself, dress up, make YOUR favorite food or just have dessert! To fill time, you can make calls to others that you haven’t talked to in a while just to wish them “happy holidays,” and if all else fails, you can volunteer somewhere. Helping others is an amazing way to get your mind off your woes!
 
In fact, that is one suggestion that I absolutely think is great. If you get to a place where you’re spending all your free time depressed, or feeling sad about your situation, you can use my trick. If I’m too much in my own head and life, too self centered, I go and volunteer. There are hundreds of groups, programs, homes and hospitals that can always use some help… and that, my friends, will bring you back to the world of living, and help you move your life forward again!

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