Sad and Lonely at the Holidays? You Are Not Alone.

sad lonely holidays

Dear Friend,

Recently a friend posted on Facebook urging others to remember that the holidays can be particularly difficult for people who have suffered loss. My dear friend lost both her parents in the last couple years and was explaining that she experiences those losses again and again over the holidays and around birthdays. She just wanted to remind everyone that the holiday season can feel particularly tender for her.

I was not only struck by her emotional honesty, but also how deeply what she said resonated with me. While I have been making my peace with the season (see below), I have quietly discovered that on the actual holiday day, I usually feel a bit sad, a bit lonely, a bit disappointed, a bit like an outsider looking in. I use the word quietly on purpose here because I am not overcome by these feelings, but I am just quietly observing them and letting them have their say.

In holidays past I used to let those feelings take up residency in my body from the day before Thanksgiving until well after the new year. Now I just watch what comes up and almost before I know it, the feelings pass. Until they come again. And if something sticks around a little longer – that’s ok because I know now that all feelings (well, everything) is temporary.

So, friend, I wish you the merriest of Christmases. And if you find yourself feeling lonely or sad for whatever reason, I want you to know you aren’t alone.

I hope you are well.

With lots of love and compassion,

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Other posts you might like:

How Not to Lose Your Marbles During the Holidays

8 Self-Care Tips for the Holiday Season

How I Overcame the Holiday Humbug in 7 Steps

Look Back In Order to Look Forward

Treat Yourself: 8 Reasons Why Private Yoga Session Might Work For You

Yoga Isn’t All F#*king Sunshine and Rainbows


I feel it is my duty to clear up a common misconception about people who “do yoga.”

We (yoga peeps) are not somehow exempt from the negative feelings of everyday life.

We experience real feelings of  jealousy, rage, pettiness and my personal favorite – defensiveness.  Call it the dark side, the unpopular, the stuffed down deep – however you think of the “negative” feelings – we feel them too.

Over the last year as my yoga and non-yoga lives have come together and as more and more people think of me as someone who “does yoga” — I have been on the receiving end more than once of someone telling me that something I’ve said or done isn’t very “yogic.”

Say what?

Not very yogic?

What the f*ck does that mean?

Maybe I was mad and talked some sh*t about someone. Maybe I dropped an F-bomb (or 12), or maybe I bit someone’s head off after they said something stupid… (for example when someone pointed out what I just did or said was wasn’t very “yogic”).


Real life (and real yoga) is messy.

Both are full of challenges and frustrations. Sometimes resentment and anger and pettiness come up and bite you in the ass leaving you wondering where the hell that came from. On my mat (and off) I’ve experienced fear, pain and crying.

It’s not pretty. But it is what it is.

It’s all yoga, people.

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Real yoga isn’t about sitting in lotus with your head in the clouds with a smile on your face all the time. Or about saving face and keeping it all even keeled.

I’m calling bullsh*t on that, people.

The true aim is to find self-acceptance in what is happening right now, in this moment. And being ok with it. Even if it is an unpleasant or unpopular feeling like jealousy or envy.

Knowing that both the good and the bad feelings will come and go and to let things be as they are. No judgement, just noticing.

Michelle shared a poem in class this morning all about looking into the face of your fears and into the darkness.

That is what yoga really is, facing the unflattering parts of yourself and cutting yourself some slack. And maybe even finding some compassion and acceptance for the less popular parts of yourself.

Don’t let people (or yourself) try to stuff you into their limited view about what is “yogic” – remember whatever rises is what is real.

Does someone you know try to deny the unpretty parts of you? Do you do it to yourself?

Image: esty