"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Why it happens and what you may do about it

Social gatherings play a vital role in most winter celebrations, whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or one other holiday. But it's entirely possible to feel isolated within the midst of all the enjoyment. Here's what it is best to learn about loneliness on vacation.

Loneliness is a private concept. Some people don't need lots of social interaction to be glad and healthy. Others could have constant contact with friends and members of the family and still feel alone. Loneliness occurs if you feel socially isolated, and it might have a robust impact in your mental health.

Much of the research on loneliness focuses on older adults, but you may feel lonely at any age. If you're feeling socially isolated, here's what is likely to be happening in your brain and body:

Stress. Loneliness stimulates your body to supply extra cortisol, generally known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is often released in response to a short lived threat. When the body is exposed to cortisol for an extended time frame, it might result in anxiety and depression. Headaches, sleep disorders and digestive problems may also occur. Your heart health could also be affected. You may even gain weight.

Worse brain function. Social isolation changes your brain chemistry. This makes tasks that require pondering harder. Experts imagine that this process can result in reduced cognitive performance and ultimately dementia, particularly in older adults.

Faster aging and earlier death. Loneliness may cause your body's cells to age faster than usual. It also increases the danger of early death from any cause.

Much of the loneliness that happens through the holidays may be attributed to the next circumstances:

Unrealistic expectations. It's easy to return to the conclusion that others are having more fun than you. People are inclined to share their good times greater than their bad days, especially on social media. If seeing other people's posts bothers you, limit your social media activity or stop it altogether for some time. Also, don't compare your current vacation with those from the past. Keep an eye fixed on the current, because latest traditions may be just as fulfilling as fondly remembered old ones.

Sorrow or depression. When you miss a loved one, those feelings don't go away simply because the calendar says it's time to rejoice. The same goes for other circumstances that make you blue. Give yourself permission to be sad, but in addition check your mental toolbox for strategies that typically make you’re feeling higher. They will probably help through the holidays too.

Missing members of the family. There are dozens of the reason why you would possibly not find a way to see all of your mates and family through the holidays. Larger families may face the unimaginable task of visiting as many relatives as possible. Some people need to work over the vacations. Some may leave the stress of vacation behind and as an alternative go to a spot of rest. Try to not take their absence personally.

Seasonal affective disorder. Some people frequently struggle with depression and fatigue through the winter months. These symptoms could also be because of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which may be triggered by low levels of sun exposure. The body responds by producing less melatonin, a hormone tied to sleep, and fewer serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood. You may feel higher if you happen to hunt down sunlight on brighter winter days. You may also purchase a light-weight box and see if using it boosts your mood.

Whether you’re feeling it coming or are caught off guard by vacation loneliness, these strategies will help reduce those feelings.

Use the technology. When you may't be together with your family members in real life, turn to technology to feel connected. Phone calls, text messages, video chats, Zoom meetings, and photo sharing can include you in one another's celebrations even when you may't be together.

Reach out to others who could also be lonely. Almost everyone has friends and acquaintances who’re alone over the vacations. Make plans with them. Another classic option to beat the blues is to volunteer for cause.

Stick to healthy habits. Try to take care of eating regimen. Watch your alcohol consumption. Don't let cold weather stop you from being lively. If it's too cold to be outside, find online training. Exercise is proven to spice up your mood.

For many individuals diagnosed with a mental health disorder, the vacations are difficult. Around 1 / 4 of them note that their conditions are significantly worse through the holidays. Around two thirds of them say they experienced loneliness through the holidays. It was once believed that suicide rates were higher through the holidays, but that has been proven to be a myth. However, thoughts of suicide should at all times be taken seriously.

Work together with your doctor, counselor or therapist to develop a plan to cut back holiday stress. There are many options that may give you the results you want. You also needs to have an emergency number and a plan in place to get immediate help if you happen to need it.