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Fighting Loneliness at Christmas

Christmas is a time where family and friends come together and celebrate.  However, this is not the case for everyone.  Some people may find themselves alone over the Christmas period for many reasons. Some may have lost loved ones or may live away from family and unable to travel.  This could put a completely different perspective on the normally festive season.  For someone finding themselves alone over Christmas this could cause anxiety and pressure.

A great way to keep occupied and stay in control at Christmas

Being able to manage expectations over this period is very important.  Planning out the days in advance is a great way to keep in control and keep occupied.  Some people may plan to visit church or list what TV programs they wish to watch.  Here is a list for creating ideas.

  • Buy a TV magazine and highlight favourite programs to watch

  • Arrange times for phone calls with family and friends

  • Decide what to have to eat on Christmas

  • Start up a new hobby

  • Give some time to a local cause or charity

  • Plan some time to relax or meditate

  • Read a book

  • Decide what the best time is to go to bed

  • Do some baking or cooking

  • Consider some home improvements

  • Plan new year resolutions

  • Book something to look forward to in the new year

Creating ideas over the Christmas period depends on the individual and what they are interested in. 

Social Media good and bad

Social media can be a great tool for keeping in touch with family and friends and it helps to connect with the wider community. However sometimes social media content may have the opposite effect.  When spending time alone it may not always be the best idea to look at the posts of family and friends flaunting their Christmas.   

Social media can be a lonely place for young people too.  Expectations coming from the online world can leave many people feeling inadequate if they are not fitting in with the social scene.  The flipside to this is that this can lead to young people communicating with strangers and building relationships with people they have never met.  In some cases, this can be toxic.

Anxiety about COVID 19 over the Christmas period

This time of year, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and the new variant Omicron, many people are worried that they will be lonely at Christmas and the possibility of anxiety that can occur from isolation during the festive season not measuring up to their expectations.

Christmas parties and events may have been cancelled and plans changed however it’s important to not allow the environment to change our state of mind.  Keeping the mind occupied, taking regular exercise and sleeping well, is important and not allowing the mind to over think and spiral into an anxiety state.  Looking to the future and thinking of things to look forward to can really help.  Planning new year’s resolutions and maybe booking a trip away somewhere for the spring / summer may be an option. Even planning to see family and friends in the new year can help.  Set something in stone and look forward to the event.

If possible, socialise carefully with others keeping within the government guidelines. Wearing a mask is important to protect others and keeping a distance will help to limit the virus from transmission. 

Remember there may be many others feeling the same this Christmas so reaching to local support groups and online communities may help.

Knowing who to contact in a Crisis

Don’t be afraid to speak up. If someone is struggling with loneliness there are various charities that can be contacted.  Here is a list of a few of them:

Mental Health UK

Young Minds

NHS - Helplines

Mind

Samaritans

Veteran’s Help UK

SSAFA

Help For Heros

Combat Stress

The British Legion 

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