Are you spending Christmas alone this year? Whether it’s by choice or circumstance, it’s important to try and ease loneliness and focus on the positives.
If you’re lonely yourself there is lots of helpful advice and support on the Let’s Talk Loneliness website.
Take a look at some of the mood-boosting things you can do below…
1. FOCUS ON THE THINGS YOU ENJOY
Whatever it is, carving out time to do small joyful activities will distract you from dwelling on your situation. For some, it may be watching a festive film, while for others it may be doing something therapeutic like painting or writing.
“Spend the day doing things you enjoy,” the team at Mind explain. “For example, this could be taking a morning jog, playing video games or doing puzzles. Or it could be having a hot bath with a good book, or a lie-in wearing your favourite pyjamas.”
2. CONNECT WITH OTHERS VIRTUALLY
If you’re spending the season alone, try connecting with loved ones virtually. It might not be the same as face-to-face interaction, but it can certainly help to ease loneliness.
There are lots of ways to talk to people online. British comedian Sarah Millican hosts a Christmas day chat on Twitter each year, which anyone can join.
3. REMEMBER, YOU DON’T HAVE TO CELEBRATE
It might be Christmas, but there’s no obligation to celebrate if you don’t want to. You may decide not to mark Christmas this year, and just treat it as if it’s any other day. This may feel easier than trying to celebrate alone.
4. STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
For those spending the season alone, seeing a social media feed jam-packed with Christmas-themed photos and happy families can lead to sadness and comparison. If you’re by yourself, why not use the opportunity to take a digital detox? It’s a simple act of self-care that could benefit your mental health this Christmas.
When we’re feeling low, one of the best things we can do is give back to those around us. In fact, research found that those who make time to help others stop feeling lonely themselves.
From helping to feed the homeless to gifting a Refuge parcel, there are many acts of kindness you can do over the festive period to help those in need. Take a look at some ideas below…
- Volunteer with the charity Re-Engage and speak with elderly people who are spending the season alone. Something as simple as a phone call could be the lifeline they need.
- Help a young homeless person to eat a hot meal this Christmas through Centrepoint. For just £20, you could help to save lives and change lives.
- Help at a food bank. You can either donate food or volunteer in person through The Trussell Trust.
- Gift a Refuge parcel to help a young woman in need this Christmas.
6. GO FOR A LONG WALK
Embrace the empty streets by heading out for a long walk; wrap up warm, grab a hot drink and aimlessly stroll around your favourite area. Whether it’s in the deep folds of the countryside or around your hometown, soaking up the fresh, crisp air will help to clear your head and refresh your mind.
7. TREAT YOURSELF
You can still make Christmas merry and bright on your own. If you’re in need of a little pick-me-up, why not treat yourself to something special? Whether it’s a new winter coat or a book you’ve been wanting to read, don’t feel guilty about treating yourself to things that spark joy.
8. WRITE A GOALS LIST FOR 2022
Setting goals gives your life direction and boosts levels of motivation, too. As well as a time of reflection, writing down what you want to achieve next year is a brilliant way to focus on the positives – and put yourself first.
Grab a notebook, pen and start dreaming…