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Trudi Jane Wyatt, MA, CT, CCC

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Tips for the Holidays if You’re Feeling Lonely

UWO psychology professor Dr. David Dozois whose research focuses on CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) interviewed with CTVNews.ca in October 2020 regarding such topics as loneliness during the pandemic. CTVNews.ca published this in December. (Note the summary adds other news about “the brains of lonely people” though I would ask if brain difference is necessarily a “problem” such as also “the brains of piano players” are different and this doesn’t mean a problem!) Dr. Dozois’s suggestions to consider regarding this experience included:

  • Remember that it’s normal to experience loneliness right now, and also that this period of isolation is temporary.
  • Make an extra effort to connect with friends and family, even if it’s with technology.
  • Try to find structure in your day, and put extra effort into getting out of the house, even just a walk outside. He adds, “’We know in depression, what happens is people can move into a downward spiral where they start to do less because of what they’re feeling, they don’t have much motivation. The less you do, the less you feel like doing.’”
  • Pursue “’pleasure-oriented’” activities such as a bubble bath, and “’mastery-oriented’” activities like cleaning up after cooking.

The end of the article offers some resources if someone is in a crisis and reminds people to call 911 or go to the nearest hospital for immediate assistance.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/alone-during-the-holidays-how-to-cope-when-you-re-feeling-lonely-1.5215803
  2. https://news.westernu.ca/2020/12/expert-insights-covid-19-fatigue/
  3. Ruby, C. (2020). Smoke and Mirrors.

Note that this post is not counselling or psychological services. If you need counselling services, please contact me or another counsellor. If you require the services of a medical doctor, psychologist, or social worker, please contact one. If urgent support is needed, calling Calgary Distress Centre at 403.266.4357 is an option (or your local distress hotline). For emergencies, consider calling 911 or going to your local Emergency Room. This page is for information only, is not advice of any kind (including it is not legal advice), and implies neither an intent to provide professional services to readers nor that a professional relationship has been established with readers. Current adult residents of the Canadian province of Alberta are the only intended audience of this page.

Trudi Jane Wyatt, MA, CT, CCC / Pine Tree Counselling © 2020