Loneliness at Christmas can be particularly difficult to bear. What you can do about it depends in part on why you’re lonely – whether you’ve lost someone close to you, are estranged from family, or a socially isolated.
Social media is making me feel worse.
Social media can be a great way to keep in touch with loved ones. But it also offers a very distorted view of peoples’ lives. People tend to post about the positive things that are happening to them, and a stream of these can very quickly leave us feeling dissatisfied with our lives at the best of times.
If you can have a break from social media. If you can’t then remember that other people will be feeling the same way as you are, and that no one is immune from loneliness.
My friends or relatives are far away, and I can’t get to see them
The physical distance doesn’t have to equal loneliness. Use your phone to keep in touch, and best of all by a video call. That way you can focus on the emotional connection rather than the physical distance.
It’s my first Christmas after a bereavement
This is a time to take stock about Christmas – what traditions do you want to keep, and what new ones do you want to start? Christmas can’t be the same again and trying to preserve everything the same can keep you feeling stuck, or just underline the loss. But just because it can’t be the same doesn’t mean that it can’t be good again.
I feel unwanted and alone
We can’t over-estimate the importance of social contact to our mental health. At this time of year charities and community groups can find themselves over-subscribed with volunteers but don’t let that put you off asking though. And think about other people locally who might be lonely and inviting them to be a part of your Christmas. Imagine what that offer could do for your Christmas.
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