The holidays are here! And for many of us, that means lots of good things – friends, family, gifts, parties, and all-around holiday cheer. So we look forward to the holiday season as the highlight of our year.

But some of us are not so lucky. Maybe we have lost someone we love so the holidays are a painful reminder of that person. Or maybe we just don't feel like we have close friends and family with whom we can spend the holiday season. We may be unemployed or having a bad year financially. 

For whatever reason, the holidays don't fill us with much cheer to the point where we actually dread the holiday season. So what do we do? Here are some quick tips that can help us out if we are feeling lonely or blue this holiday season.

  • We need to start with gratitude. No matter how difficult our time, no matter how lonely we feel, and no matter how low we have gotten, it never hurts to start by being grateful to be alive, and for the things, we do have. One way that we can do this is to not just be grateful for what we have now, but for what we've had throughout our lives. I'm talking about starting right from when we were born and appreciating every time we had a roof over our heads, food on our table, and people to look out for us. By grounding ourselves in gratitude we have the opportunity to appreciate the true spirit of the holidays.

  • With gratitude in mind, one of the most effective ways that we can bring ourselves some holiday cheer is by helping those who are less fortunate than us. Find a charity organization that is helping people who are struggling over the holidays – particularly people who are homeless, elderly, or are themselves alone. Bringing a smile to others is often the best way that we can get out of our own heads and find our holiday cheer.

  • Next, while it may feel like the holiday season is best when we are surrounded by loved ones, we need to start by loving ourselves first. We can take the time to make the holidays special even if we are alone. We can decorate. We can cook special food. We can play our favorite music. We can pray and connect with ourselves spiritually. And if we have lost people close to us, we can remember the good times we have had with them.

  • Finally, remember that when we are feeling lonely or blue we are not alone. Millions of us struggle with loneliness and sadness at different times in our lives. there are lots of other people out there who are feeling disconnected around the holiday and are looking to reach out to others. We can start by reaching out to anyone we know and trying to connect with them over the holidays. There is nothing wrong with letting people know that we could use a little extra support during holiday times. Also, some places don't need invitations – try to find churches, temples, and community organizations that have events that anyone can attend. Sometimes just getting out and being around people for a bit is the little boost we need to lift our spirits.

So we wish everyone a happy holiday season and hope those of us who are feeling less than cheery will find our way to enjoy the holiday.

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