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How to Deal With Loneliness During Holiday Season

How to Deal With Loneliness During Holiday Season
    You CAN avoid a Blue Christmas.

    We’re well into the Christmas holiday season once again.

    This is a time of the year when most people are busy rushing to the malls buying gifts, attending parties, gathering with friends and family, and being merry. Indeed for many, this season is the most wonderful and happiest time of the year.

    However, not everyone will be celebrating this holiday season merrily.

    There are some who feel lonely and unhappy during this time of the year. Their loneliness may come from loss of loved ones through death, separation by physical distance, or through breakups. Other reasons may be that person is anti-social or too busy to participate in this festive season.

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    If you feel lonely and unhappy during the holiday season, here are some tips on how to deal with loneliness — and how to make your Christmas holiday merrier.

    1. Stop excluding yourself and go out.

    If you are feeling lonely and down this Christmas holiday, instead of clinging to self-pity and seclusion (which will only worsen your loneliness), push yourself to go out and attend holiday parties and gatherings. I’m sure there are lots you can choose from, such as those held by your close friends and family, the community you live in, in school, or at work.

    Attending Christmas holiday parties is a chance for you to meet different kinds of people. By being surrounded with lots of people — especially happy and positive people — you won’t feel as lonely as you do now.

    2. Reach out to old friends and family.

    You are given 365 days in a year, and you spend much of it minding your own life. As a result, you are so busy working that you neglect to find time to connect with family or friends. Now is the time to reach out to old friends or family you’ve neglected to give time and priority this year. Don’t be afraid to initiate.

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    As they say: if you want something, you just have to ask.

    3. Volunteer to a cause or event.

    During Christmas, there are many charitable events and causes formed by different organizations that serve to help and make this season merrier to less fortunate people such as the poor and sick. You can find one organization around you and take the initiative to join the cause.

    The benefit of joining these kinds of events will give you a different sense of happiness when you are able to help and make someone else happy. Also, it’s an opportunity for you to realize that your situation isn’t as bad as you think it is. There are more people who are less fortunate and lonelier than you are. Get inspiration and strength from them.

    4. Give gifts to people around you.

    Gift-giving is one of the famous activities during Christmas holiday season. The act of giving is a symbol of remembering the people in your lives, as well as a way to share one’s blessings.

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    There’s a saying that goes:

    “A sure way to be happy is to make someone else’s happy.”

    Cure your loneliness by making another person happy. One way to do that is by giving gifts to those other than your friends and family.  Give gifts to people like your office maintenance personnel, guards, co-workers, bus or taxi drivers — all the people that may not affect your life significantly and yet somehow they all are part of your life.

    You don’t need to give an expensive gift, something even as simple as a Christmas greeting card will be fine. I’m sure you will feel happy once you see the surprised (and happy) expression on their faces once you hand them their gifts.

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    5. Focus your thoughts on what you have — instead of what you don’t have.

    Often the reason for our loneliness and unhappiness roots from our thoughts or mindset. We focus our thoughts on what we don’t have instead of what we have  — that’s why we always feel incomplete and unfulfilled.

    During this joyous season, cure your loneliness by doing the opposite. Focus your thoughts on what you have instead of what you don’t have.  Be grateful for all the blessings and opportunities you’ve had this year. Once you start pinpointing the things you were grateful for and blessed with this year, I’m sure you will realize that your life isn’t as bad as you think it is.

    I hope you were able to pick up valuable tools on how to deal with loneliness during holiday season. Use these to make this time of the year a merry and joyous event. If you have any others to add, please do so in the comments.

    (Photo credit: Lonely Santa Girl with Presents via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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