The Psychology EDIT March ’23

You might be surprised to learn that people often tell me March is the month they dislike most. I think it’s because it is a more ‘in between’ month than any other—it’s not winter OR spring, so it doesn’t have the benefits of either. There are also no holidays (days off school or work) in March, so it feels very long and dreary.
Perhaps related to these reasons, March seems to be the month that triggers feelings of loneliness for some people—there can be no obvious reason to feel lonely.
Experiencing loneliness that can occur even when you are surrounded by friends and family. It can happen as a ‘side effect’ of Seasonal Depression—which by March has been around for a few months and hasn’t yet begun to lift.
For some, graduations and moving-up ceremonies are almost here, which, while exciting can also trigger feelings of sadness that ones own or a child’s ‘childhood’ is over, causing a sense of loss and loneliness. This is particularly true when children are going off to college, ending college, or moving out—parents may feel lonely, but so can teen or adult children who are excited to move forward but are also afraid of missing home, family or friends.
At times, even marriage can feel lonely, particularly when two people don’t have the same feelings about big life changes (for example, one parent may feel a deep sense of loneliness when a child gets married or moves into their own apartment, but the other may be fine with it).
Don’t ignore feelings of loneliness—rather, take steps to feel better:
  1. Talk about your feelings to a friend, partner or therapist. However, don’t burden your child if you are feeling sad about them moving forward in life—it will cause your child to feel guilty or get in the way of them enjoying their next stage.
  2. Take steps to strengthen other relationships (like friendships) that can be fulfilling and reduce feelings of loneliness.
  3. If you feel depressed for more than a few weeks, speak to a professional. It is difficult to manage loneliness when one is depressed.
  4. For some, pets can be therapeutic when one feels lonely. Of course, this is a long term commitment and not for transitory loneliness.
  5. Look for signs of loneliness in your child or partner. Talk to them about their feelings if they seem sad, conflicted or withdrawn about big changes that are happening in life.
Here’s to understanding ALL the feelings—even the hard ones!