Understanding Holiday Loneliness

Moksha Living
4 min readDec 21, 2023

By: Michell Stanley, LICSW, ACC, RYT

Feeling lonely during the holidays is something that affects almost everyone, even if it’s not apparent during this festive time of the year. Because each person’s experience of loneliness is so different, It’s important to understand what causes us to feel alone, so we can learn how to cope and feel connected.

Take a look at the insights below to understand the unexpected causes of loneliness and how to use feelings of solitude and isolation to experience more connection, acceptance and belonging during the holiday season.

3 Causes of Loneliness:

  • 1. Lack of quality relationships — Loneliness is a subjective emotional state that can result from the absence of depth, vulnerability and authenticity in your social connections, even when there may be a sufficient number of them.
  • 2. Social Isolation and Lack of Quantity of Significant Relationships — Social isolation is rooted in a scarcity of social connections and meaningful relationships. It can be particularly pronounced during the holiday season.
  • 3. Lack of significance, meaning or purpose — This type of existential void creates emotional emptiness and disconnection despite having a network of acquaintances or social contacts.

Discerning these differences helps you know when you simply need more quantity or quality of your relationships and when you need to cultivate a deeper sense of meaning or purpose overall.

How to Cultivate more Connection, Acceptance and Belonging During the Holidays:

  1. Prioritize Quality over quantity in relationships — Instead of seeking superficial or numerous connections to alleviate loneliness, prioritize nurturing deep, meaningful relationships. By focusing your time and energy on relationships that provide genuine support, understanding, and emotional vulnerability. By investing in authentic connections with trusted individuals, you can find comfort and solace during the holiday season.
  2. Find solace in solitude — In a fast-paced and constantly connected world, embracing moments of discomfort and stillness can be transformative. Sitting with the discomfort of solitude, you can cultivate self-discovery and the ability to find peace and contentment within your own company.
  3. Zoom out — It’s easy to become consumed by your own feelings of loneliness during the holidays when you are spending too much time stewing in your inner world. By zooming out and gaining perspective, you realize that you are not alone in your experience. Many people around the world may be navigating similar (or even worse) emotions and challenges. By acknowledging the shared human experience of suffering, you can cultivate empathy, compassion, and a sense of interconnectedness.
  4. Share Your Struggles with Others — Sharing your struggles with others can be a powerful way to combat loneliness. By opening up to someone about what you’re going through, you allow them to offer support, understanding, and empathy. This can lead to deeper, more meaningful connections with others, ultimately reducing feelings of loneliness. Additionally, by sharing your struggles, you may find that others can relate to what you’re going through, creating a sense of commonality and shared experience. This can lead to deeper, more meaningful connections with others, ultimately reducing feelings of loneliness.
  5. Give it away — The act of giving and sharing love, kindness, and compassion can be a powerful antidote to loneliness. By extending support and understanding to others, you not only alleviate your own loneliness but also contribute to creating a more empathetic and connected community.

As you navigate through the holiday season, remind yourself that loneliness is a universal experience, and it’s okay to feel its weight. By discerning between the types of loneliness, prioritizing quality relationships, and taking proactive steps to cope, you can transform your experience of loneliness into a journey of self-discovery and belonging. I encourage you to join me in embracing these tools. By fostering connection within ourselves and others, we extend compassion to the world.

If you are looking for some support, connection or intentional community during the holiday season, reach out to us to schedule a free consultation.

Michell Stanley Founder & Executive Director

My mission is to help people use emotional challenges as opportunities for self-growth and evolution. My holistic approach shows people how to get more Balance, Intimacy, and Trust in themselves and in their lives in order to thrive in the present and secure their legacy.