Resilience Real-Time Podcast

Episode 12: Loneliness And The Holiday Season

In this episode of the resilience real-time podcast, Peta Sigley offers practical strategies to reduce feelings of loneliness during the holiday season. Whilst the holiday period is a time of excitement for many, the reality is that for many people it won’t necessarily mean joyful family and social gatherings.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the likelihood of meaningfully connecting to the people we care about most – at least in person. Whilst many don’t like the feelings of isolation and loneliness that come with this, it can be helpful to remind ourselves that many others will be in a similar situation and that it is okay to feel this way. It is important that we acknowledge that loneliness is about how you are feeling inside rather than your likability or how many friends you have. It is also important to note that you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. Many people will find themselves feeling lonely in busy workplaces or festive households where they feel emotionally distanced from those around them.

At an individual level, the ability to self-regulate emotions helps to reduce the pain associated with feeling lonely during the holiday period. Being able to build authentic positive emotions helps move us to a space of possibility where we are more inclined to connect to others and be motivated to take action. This may look like scheduling in self-care, doing small acts of kindness, planning a flow state activity or reframing the social expectations typically seen on social media platforms and in traditional holiday movies. From a leadership perspective, action should be taken before the holiday season begins. The starting point is initiating connection, displaying compassionate leadership and building trust. Getting to know your team and looking out for changes in behaviour and body language is critical here as well as changing the way they work in order to drive interaction with others in order to combat loneliness in the workplace.

Listen to this episode to learn strategies on how to cope with feelings of loneliness this holiday season and to learn more about how your daily activities and habits can relieve the discomfort of this emotion in yourself and those around you.

Resources available in Australia:

Lifeline on 13 11 14
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
Headspace on 1800 650 890

Featuring: Peta Sigley

Host: Simon Cook

Production: Claire Taylor

Music: Josh Jones find out more about Peta Sigley