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Although many of us see the festive season as a time to get together and spend time with our loved ones, for many, this can result in an exacerbated feeling of loneliness at Christmas.
It's a time when people are reminded of the loss of loved ones and might also be too busy, anxious or just overwhelmed to attend one of the many seemingly compulsory social events, which, in turn, leaves people feeling left out and even more isolated. And this year, when you add in the isolation many of us have experienced these past 10 months, the fact that many of us won't be able to see our loved ones over the festive season and the lack of uplifting social events altogether, it's perhaps unsurprising that the of people experiencing loneliness is increasing.
This can all feel even more personal this year, as families and friends face tricky decisions because they have too many loved ones they want to see over the festive period than Christmas Covid restrictions allow. Some people choose to be alone and live happily without a lot of contact. Other people might have lots of social contact, be in a relationship or part of a family, and still feel lonely. Boyd adds that the 'pressure' to feel the absolute opposite of 'lonely' when it comes to Christmas can 'make feelings of loneliness even bigger'. This is something that Michelle, 33, from London can attest to.
She tells us that despite often being surrounded by people, through living in bustling London and having a job and friends, she regularly still feels lonely. So, what can be done if you're worried about feeling lonely this Christmas? We're of course restricted in how sociable we can be this year but that doesn't mean we shouldn't — or can't — reach out.
We came up with some tips, along with the help of women who have been there and experts, of ways to help yourself — even if it's ever so slightly — at Christmas. Though we might no be attending workshops in person this year, ing others albeit virtuallykeeping busy and getting creative can help distract you from feelings of loneliness and offer more of a sense of togetherness.
There are all sorts of events taking place from wreath-making workshops, online Christmas carol concerts, digital festive Lonely during christmas, Christmas baking classes and cocktail making, that you can up to and from the comfort of your own living room. If Christmas can be a time in your life that Lonely during christmas slows down just a little, why not take the opportunity to get in touch with a friend from school, university or your old job? Sending a 'Merry Christmas' text can be the perfect ice breaker. If you can't logistically meet someone face to face over the holiday period then pick up the phone.
Even though you're not physically seeing them, just talking can make a difference too.
Carrie, 26, struggles with loneliness - especially over Christmas - partly because her arthritis which worsens in the winter prevents her from ing in with some social and family activities. She told Red that 'being honest with those around me has really helped me feel [more a] part of social occasions'.
Part of this also involves being honest with yourself and speaking openly to those around you about what you can, and might not be able to, manage. We all know that exercise releases endorphins and energises our moods but outdoor exercise, in particular, can help with depression, according to Mind.
Sally, who has two children, told Red she struggled with loneliness at Christmas after the breakdown of a relationship. She took up running which distracted her from the isolating feelings but also gave her the belief she was actually doing something for herself.
Just because you'll Lonely during christmas on your own, it doesn't mean it will necessarily make you lonely, as we've said. Michelle says getting lost in a good book really helps her. And if you need any inspiration on what to read, Red has you covered.
London-based Ellie, 23, has experienced loneliness. She told us that being aware that what you're feeling is loneliness actually can help in the long term as it can spur you to try and do something about it, 'which is key' even if it seems like you can only Lonely during christmas minor things to help.
Go out and aim to talk to someone each day: Be it a shop worker, a volunteer on the street or a colleague. Depending on how good you are at it, wrapping Christmas presents can be viewed as an enjoyable activity or a chore. Whichever the case, Ellie finds making whatever you bought someone for Christmas even prettier can bring you joy.
Whether you want to make new friends or simply want to a group that will put a smile on your face, there are all sorts of options for online social clubs. The The Cares Familyfor example, which brings together people from all walks of life, and has over 18, members in London, Liverpool and Manchester. Hosting anything from quizzes and dancing to group yoga, organisers usually host in-person events, but have moved all jamborees online during the lockdown.
If you have some spare time over the Christmas holidays, why not look into local organisations and community groups that might need some extra help? Mind recommends volunteering as a positive way to make you feel good, by knowing you're helping others, as well as allowing you to meet and chat to new people which can help alleviate the feeling of isolation.
They suggest the do-it website which lists volunteer positions near your postcode. As well as spending more time reading books to try and curb her loneliness, Michelle has also found TV - particularly box sets - helpful.
With so many incredible TV shows out, a plethora of impressive actors putting their name to television series and numerous streaming services to take your pick, why not give a show with a few seasons already available a try? What to watch next on Netflix. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Symptoms a gynaecologist says you can't ignore. Presented by. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Do this with family, friends or colleagues aka people that care about you and your wellbeing.
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