Right after Thanksgiving, the sights and sounds around us morph into a familiar holiday cheer, with twinkling lights, christmas carols and classics on TV channels. It can be the best feeling in the world, but also can be an oppressive feeling for some, who are so lonely that they feel ‘mocked’ by the ongoing holiday splurge going around, with family get togethers and gifts.
The holiday times are cheery but stressful, and can be a harrowing experience for those who already struggle with loneliness or depression.
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Much of the childhood holiday magic we remember was a sacrifice for most adults who wanted the time to be special for kids. True holiday spirit is a mix of pleasure, sacrifice and pain, a mix of emotions where our own sense of joy is hardly felt.
The holidays amplify the loneliness and sacrifice, due to the pandemic, global remoteness, joblessness, personal loss and the many unspoken feelings that become evident at this time.
Loneliness is nothing new, but the last decade the feeling has expanded to alarming degrees. Loneliness used to mean being socially isolated, but now it means loss of connection, lack of trust, and mental isolation in between two people sitting next to each other.
The digital vortex offered by the smartphone, where we ‘doom scroll’ all the time, desperately trying to keep up with the avalanche of information and news, hasn’t made things easier.