2 Things You Can Do To Combat Holiday Loneliness

For many, the holiday season can be a time of turmoil, a constant reminder of the lack of family, friends, and finances. It can also be a time of brokenness as we ponder over failed love and the desire for that perfect mate. Many people feel lonely.

lonely

According to Miriam Webster, loneliness is when one is sad from being alone. Sadness is an emotion, a feeling. There are people whose lives are filled with family and close friends yet they still feel lonely around the holidays. These feelings can creep into any persons mind.

This holiday season, I encourage you to embrace your current situation by doing the following:

ONE: Pray
Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

If you are in a lonely place, do what Jesus did. Do more than contemplate your past relationships and hurts; take the time to evaluate the impact you had in those relationships. How can you become a better friend, parent or spouse? Do you have goals that you’ve pushed off due to procrastination or fear?

Although Jesus made the choice to seek out a lonely place and you didn’t, take advantage of it.
Get ahead of everyone caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, start praying for guidance on how you can be your absolute best next year.

TWO: Be a Blessing

The single most important thing you can do for others is to send up fervent prayers of blessings. Refer to task one.

The next thing you can do is to be kind. This year, make it a point not to get lost in your own business. Be aware of what’s going on around you and in your community. When you meet someone on the street, say “hello.” Find the time to help that elderly neighbor take the trash out on one of these cold winter mornings. If you have a few extra bucks, help a less fortunate family celebrate Christmas with toys for their kids and a nice spread for dinner.

Whatever you can do for someone, do it; it may stop the loneliness bug in you and prevent it in others.

The Importance and Benefits of Exercise

courtesty getty images As the wife of a collegiate level strength and conditioning coach I am constantly informed of the importance of living an active lifestyle. However, I did not realize how being sedentary could adversely effect my life until I read The Toll of Sedentary Living in chapter 5 of "An Invitation to Health" (Hales, 2009).

“Sedentary living claims some 250,000 lives, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths in America every year, and contributes to four of the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.” (p. 110)

Three of these risk factors cause poor health in my family or my husband’s family. While my husband’s biological risks do not directly impact my personal health, we are the parents of two boys, ages 17 months and 4 years. Hence, I am spiritually and intellectually motivated to change my fitness habits in order to promote a lifestyle of wellness to my children.

One of the dimensions of health is spiritual health. For me, good parenting goes beyond moral issues it’s a matter of faith. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he shall not depart from it.” (NASB) From my understanding of this scripture “train” means “to teach”. In most of my classes my teachers lead by example: most health and physical education teachers are physically fit; most English teachers use proper grammar; and most home economics teacher can sew. If I desire to raise good children as my faith instructs me, the insurance that they lead healthy, active lives comes from me leading one. My goal is to eliminate some of the predisposing factors of unhealthy behavior in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, values, and perceptions (p. 15).

The intellectual side of my wants to be certain that as I live my life I take into consideration the information provided to me. As an African American my race alone predisposes me to certain risks. However, applying what I have learned will most likely increase my life expectancy.

Being physically fit should be more than a goal of aesthetic appeal, although it can be a mitigating factor. Fitness for a healthy lifestyle should be forefront in ones motivation for change as a continuous commitment unlike reaching a milestone of 20 pounds. In project management, once a milestone is reached resources are rallied around the next task at hand. However, in athletic performance – a lifestyle in itself – once a race is won training for the next begins.

Participating in a planned, deliberate exercise regimen promotes cardio respiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, healthy body composition, and functional fitness (p. 108). Exercise improves your mood, reduces psychological symptoms, and sharpens your thinking (p. 111). As a college student and a mother, I need all the extra brain capacity I can get.

Making the change from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one benefits me physically, spiritually, intellectually, and socially.

Stuck in Place

I like honesty … so I try to be honest … even about the embarrassing stuff.

Lately, I’ve wanted to do something(s) but I am having a horrible time “doing”.  I know exactly what I want to do, I even know how to do it but cannot bring myself to act.  It is the worst feeling in the world.

I can’t call it procrastination, or fear, or anything.  I am just stuck.

As much as I love to write, I had to force myself to create this post.  It’s like my mind is racing and I can’t keep up.  I have ideas that I just can’t seem to pen.  I even write out a daily list of “to dos” but nothing is getting done.

Has anyone ever had this problem?  Is there a cure?

I am sure I will find one myself. As I am writing this post, I feel uplifted.  Almost like a breath of life has permeated my lungs.

I guess the words of Cory “Zoo” Miller are right, “The only thing stopping you is when you stop.”

I guess I’ll keep moving.