Simple Steps for Managing Holiday Loneliness

The holidays are a time for joy and togetherness, but for many they can also spur feelings of loneliness. There aren’t comprehensive statistics for how many people feel starved for connection this time of year, but there are clues: A 2017 AARP survey, for instance, found that 31 percent of adults aged 18 and older have felt lonely during the holidays. And the past few holiday seasons have been especially fraught: The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a global uptick in loneliness, which experts describe as the difference between how much connection a person wants and how much they’re actually getting.

“Loneliness and aloneness are not the same thing,” said Kory Floyd, a professor of communication at the University of Arizona and the author of “The Loneliness Cure.” Loneliness is subjective. During the holidays, you can be surrounded by friends and family and feel totally isolated. Alternatively, you can be alone and feel completely at peace.

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