Loneliness during the holidays.

Loneliness can affect anyone during the holidays, not just the elderly or vulnerable. Here are some ways you can look after yourself & reach out to others.

Loneliness can affect anyone during the holidays, not just the elderly or vulnerable. Here are some ways you can look after yourself & reach out to others.

The holidays are meant to be the most wonderful time of the year. But what if it’s not? This time of the year we hold onto high expectations. We want everything to go well, we want to be happy and enjoy ourselves, but when that doesn’t happen we can be left feeling disheartened, and isolated There is a very prevalent expectation to be happy and joyful, even when we really don’t feel like it.

Image from Quotescover.

For many, the holidays can be filled with loneliness, discomfort, and grief. Some may be experiencing Christmas without a loved one for the first time, family dysfunction, health concerns or maybe it’s their first year abroad, away from the comforts of home.

Who can be affected by loneliness?

  • The elderly.
  • Bereaved families.
  • Single households (due to COVID-19).
  • Those who have immigrated away from family and friends.
  • Those with mental or chronic illness who may not necessarily be fit to take part in the festivities for a variety of reasons.

Anyone. That’s right, anyone can be affected by loneliness. That much has become clear this year more than ever before.

2020 will be very different for many of us in regards to the holidays. Although these tips are largely based on ‘normal’ times, many of these can be carried over safety. But there are different ways to celebrate the holidays, and this year is the best time to experiment. Check out this post to learn more about how to make the most of the holiday season.


How to cope when you’re lonely?

Spend time with people you love.

Loneliness doesn’t necessarily mean that you have no one in your life. For some, it can mean feeling isolated from those who are immediately around us. You can feel alone in a crowded room, in a room full of family or even among friends.

I’ve felt like this at times and it can be so hard. Our usual support group can be busy, especially on Christmas day. But you can always agree with them ahead of time that you’ll text each other, or even spare an hour for a phone call during those special days.

I’m also going to encourage you to spend time with any support animals you might have. Even if they don’t actually support animals, the family dog or cat can really help with those feelings. Just having my cat around the house while my partner is working can really help alleviate those feelings on loneliness.

Open the curtains.

I’ve talked about the importance of natural sunlight in making us feel better emotionally. In the winter it’s especially important to make sure we get as much sunlight as we can.

Open the curtains first thing in the morning, or even go outside for a quick walk (if able, of course). Failing that, you can invest in a therapy lamp that simulates natural lighting.

Of course, this won’t fix loneliness, but it will help improve our overall mood which can reduce the symptoms.

Get some exercise.

It can be difficult to encourage ourselves to exercise, but if you’re fit and able, it can help not only our mood but to kill time. Bundle up warm, pop the dog on the lead and stretch your legs, even just for thirty minutes. It’ll also contribute to your daily sunlight quota! Two birds, one stone and all that jazz.

Why not get up a good playlist on Spotify and dance around the living room? Or even do some light yoga.

Spend time practising self-care.

Read a book, watch a TV show you’d forgotten on your Netflix list, or play your favourite video game. Spending time with ourselves, for ourselves, is so important, and yet often overlooked.

Need some self-care inspiration? Check out this post.

Talk about your feelings.

If you’re feeling lonely, talk about it. Tweet it if you use Twitter. If you happen to be with people you trust, tell them how you’re feeling and what you need to help reduce the feelings of loneliness.

I’m lucky I’m able to spend a portion of my day with my partner, but I know this year is going to be lonelier than others. I know I’m going to have to reach out to him and others this year more than any other.

That’s okay though. That’s why those people are there. So, take advantage and talk it out.

Volunteer with other people who might be feeling the same.

If you’re up for it and well enough why not volunteer at an animal shelter or care home? We can become so consumed by our own feelings of loneliness, that it’s easy to forget that others might be feeling the same way.

Elderly people are among the highest group that experience loneliness during the holidays for a variety of reasons. They would love nothing more than someone coming in to see them or read to them during the holiday season.

You might be wondering how this helps you feel better? It’s the rules of kindness. What you give out comes back to you in ways you might not even think. Being kind to others is proven to make us feel better about ourselves.

*Please keep in mind that volunteering may be difficult due to COVID. Be aware of the restrictions in your area.

Check out this post for more information on kindness and how you can be kind to others this holiday season.


How you can help reduce loneliness in others.

It’s not always easy, but there are things you can do to help those in your life that might be lonely.

Call, text or even pop in for a chat (Covid permitting).

Stop in to chat with a friend or family member, especially the elderly and those suffering from illness or bereavement. Take the time to pop in for a cup of tea or even go out for a coffee if possible! Just a simple ‘hello, how are you?’ can really make all the difference to someone.

Spare a chair at the table.

Do you have a seat to spare at your table this Christmas? Why not ask a friend or neighbour to join you if they can? Maybe you’re living abroad, and your recently immigrated friend can’t make it home for Christmas? Dust off the spare chairs and enjoy the holidays together!

Volunteer.

Coming up to the holidays, and even on Christmas Day, there are always programs running to help those less fortunate. You could spend time with the elderly in a nursing home or provide meals for the homeless.

As mentioned, it can help combat your own feelings of loneliness too!


Can you think of anything else you can do to combat loneliness in yourself and others? Have you ever experienced this before, and if so, what have you done to help? Or what support would you like to see in your life?

85 comments

  1. We have been counting with technology to keep us close and connected that way we do not feel as lonely

  2. I have been to self help groups, seminars, and in patient throughout the past three decades and you are on point. As I was reading I noticed my curtains were shut and I haven’t been outside in weeks. All of which I definitely know better. Thanks for the reminders and for getting this mentel health information out to the public!

  3. This is great advice. I love that you included that loneliness isn’t exclusively something that is experienced by those who don’t have someone in their lives. You can have a large family and a wide variety of friends, and still feel lonely if you feel somehow isolated from them!

  4. We can’t avoid to feel a sudden loneliness specially in this situation. There’s just so many sources of loneliness everywhere around. Atleast we get to look into the positive and better days ahead.

  5. This is such a good read. I am sure many of us are experiencing such especially this holiday season. Glad that technology exist. It makes the distance not a hindrance to catch up with loved ones.

  6. Feeling lonely on Christmas is the last thing I want to experience. Thank you so much for sharing these tips on how to cope up with it. I will share this with my friends.

  7. I think this Christmas, more so than ever, it’s really important to remember people who are living on their own through no choice of their own. Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely but due to COVID, lots more of us are either isolating, or not part of a bubble, or who’ve experience the death of a partner. Really good post, thank you for the timely reminder.

  8. The holidays can be tough on some. Loneliness is something I wish nobody had to experience. I always try to check up on everyone during the holidays.

  9. These are some wonderful tips on dealing with loneliness! I like walking and talking to family on the phone.

  10. It is hard not to feel lonely during this time and the circumstances. One thing that has helped me has been starting a blog and connecting with others .

  11. I always hate thinking about all the lonely people there are out there. It makes me feel even more blessed to have family and friends and wish I could do more to help all the people who are lonely.

  12. Although I have family with me, I have several friends who are saddened to be alone and miss spending time with their families this Christmas. It’s hard.

  13. This is such an important topic to talk about, loneliness at this time of year is an issue for so many people, especially with Covid. It’s important to take a part of your day and check in on those who need a voice to hear or even just a text to that someone! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  14. I experience some loneliness at this time of year because even though I’m with my husband (which is amazing) I still miss my family back home in the UK. I get to FaceTime with them but it isn’t quite the same. I’ve not seen my Mum face-to-face for 4 years and my sister for 7 so I get a bit homesick. This post is really helpful — thanks for sharing!

  15. This is such an important post. Loneliness is awful and it breaks my heart to think of elderly people alone and lonely at Christmas (well any time of year really but especially Christmas). Particularly this year. Although it’s so important to remember that loneliness can affect anyone and younger people are suffering more with loneliness than ever and it’s awful. These are great tips. I’ve luckily never felt this to a massive degree and I hope I never will x

  16. I have been fortunate enough not to feel like this. But I know it happens and it is so horrible!! You have used your platform to create awareness which is good. Great tips too. Thank you for sharing xxx

  17. Thank you so much for reading. I’m so glad these tips were helpful, and I’m sorry to hear about your childhood. Mine was a similar experience even though I wasn’t an only child. It was still very, very lonely.

  18. I hope they helped! Although I had family around me, I still used some for myself. Even if we are among people, we can still end up feeling very alone. I hope your festive season was at the very least okay. x

  19. Thank you so much for stopping in and reading. I really appreciate it. Loneliness is such an important topic to discuss, especially during the festive season.

  20. This is such an important topic. We agree that anyone can be affected by loneliness this time of year. We love your tips – especially exercise and self care!

  21. Hey! I used some of your tips to get rid off that feeling that I’m lonely on Christmas. They also helped some people who I know. Great job! πŸ™‚

  22. As a teen I really struggled with loneliness. The only child ,I barely had friends, they come and go. But now with my family don`t feel like that anymore. Sometimes it happens ofc , to miss a friend but then I do something to distract myself. These tips are really great , no one should be ever lonely especially on holidays.

  23. Its sad if people feel lonely during the holidays. Hopefully people can find friends and neighbors or someone nearby to hang with!

  24. This is a great post and especially relevant even beyond the holidays. Loneliness is a big issue with many people…especially adults. I especially like the tip on self care.

  25. It’s hard for people who don’t have anyone to go to, or those who perhaps have toxic families. Although my family are…alright, the idea of Christmas still sets me on edge.
    Thank you for stopping in and reading.

  26. Thanks for this post. I also feel quite lonely when Holiday is close because I’m fat away of my family. it reminds me how much I miss them

  27. That’s true that during Christmas some people may feel lonely and we even don’t realize that. I also feel lonely at times, hope your tips will help me a little bit. πŸ™‚

  28. I love being alone too but much like you I would feel very uneasy and sad being alone. Especially this year as we mourn the loss of my grandfather/grandmother.

    Thank you for stopping in and reading. Much appreciated.

  29. I agree. Anyone can experience loneliness during the holidays. It’s a special season, but it also the part of the year that hits us personally if we are not emotionally stable.

    I like that you present ideas to deal with loneliness and ideas to help others. It feels great to help others.

  30. Being lonely during the holidays – I can totally believe it, especially since everyone talks about getting together with friends and family. I am the type of person who loves being alone, so I never really get lonely, but I know if I didn’t have the family I have to celebrate these festive times with, I would be sad.

  31. Loneliness can affect anyone but coping up with it is a great deal and you gave an amazing tips to get through it!Have a lovely christmas dear!

  32. These are good tips. Honestly I prefer to just have my immediate family around but I know it can be tough for some who don’t have that luxury. I will be thoughtful of this!

  33. I’m missing my grandfather and grandmother a lot this year. I think we all are. It can be especially hard when you lose someone you love and you have to go through your first Christmas (or birthday etc) without them. Sending you love over the holiday season.

  34. That’s so lovely! I’ve never known anyone to open their home like that. Of course, I’ve opened it to friends and possible family if needs be but I suppose I’ve never thought to extend the invitation. What a lovely gesture. Thank you so, so much for reading and commenting.

  35. Same. I just want to take home all the elderly in my grandfather’s home. It’s so sad.
    Thank you so much for stopping in and reading.

  36. Thank you so much for commenting. Although not overly far and able to make it home, I’m still a fair bit from my family and it can get very difficult at times.

  37. The parties in my opinion must be a moment of spontaneous sharing in which to do what you feel to live them, very often instead we let ourselves be trapped by an agitated routine that makes us lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.

  38. This is such an important thing to think about. And you are right that it can affect anybody! One of the problems is we all put on a smile when we are around others so sometimes it is hard to find the people who need a little bit more love and support. Prayers that we can all be a little bit more perceptive to those who are lonely but aren’t telling anybody.

  39. Awe I love this! Such an important post for the holidays. I just want to HUG all the lonely!!!

  40. These are great tips to help keep loneliness at bay. It can be hard to deal with and serving others and putting yourself out there can really help.

  41. This would be hard. There were times when we were away from family during the holidays, so that could get lonely. I always try to focus on what I DO have, rather than what I don’t and that helps me out. I know this year we love my Nana Jo, so I am missing her a bunch. To help, my mom and I will be telling stories about her to the kids so we always keep her memory alive!

  42. Great post as always, loneliness could affect anyone at any time just because you are enjoying them know doesn’t mean that next year you still will be this is the way I think of it. Really informative post. I recently wrote a post on this too. I hope you have a lovely Christmas ????

    Charlotte ????

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