Combating loneliness this Christmas

New research released by mental health charity Mind suggests a third of people (36%) are too embarrassed to admit they are lonely at Christmas.

 

Statistics have previously shown that loneliness at Christmas is more likely to affect the older generation, with research finding that more than half a million older people (65+) in the UK and Ireland expect to feel lonely this Christmas.

 

However, new figures from Mind have discovered that millennials (people aged between 25 - 34) are twice as likely as the elderly to have a lonely Christmas.

 

The truth is, loneliness affects all ages. We are all susceptible to the mental health affects of loneliness and the festive season is no exception.

 

Why do we feel more alone at Christmas?

Due to the commercialisation of the Christmas holiday, many of us can get wrapped up in the in the concept of taking part in the ‘perfect Christmas’, filled with lots of gifts, amazing food and coming together with our friends and family.

 

This is then exacerbated by the portrayal of Christmas in the media, with us regularly being bombarded with images of smiling couples and close-knit families on the lead up to Christmas.

 

But in reality, there is a significant portion of the population who will experience the festive season alone, resulting in one in ten people considering to take their own life.

 

Often associated with spending time with friends and family, the festive season can also be a testing time for those who have experienced a bereavement. And as a result, they shut themselves off from others, thus becoming a root cause for their loneliness over the holiday.

 

Combating loneliness at Christmas

If you find yourself unsure on what to do this Christmas, we have listed several ways on how you can spend your time this year and reduce the mental health affects of loneliness in the process:

 

Create your own ‘perfect Christmas’ - Your Christmas doesn’t have to mirror the public perception of a ‘perfect Christmas’. In the lead up to the holiday, think about what makes this time of year special for you and plan your day around that. For example, instead of turkey and all the trimmings, cook your favourite meal instead.

 

Plan 2020 - Spend your time over the festive season planning your aims and goals for the next year. What milestones do you want to achieve? Are they personal or work-related? Do you want to be more active?

 

Volunteer - Volunteering for a charity or organisation that you are passionate abut and supporting people less fortunate than yourself is an incredibly rewarding experience, and one that can help you appreciate the positives in your life.

 

Do something different - Lastly, if the thought of spending Christmas alone at home makes you feel anxious, why not try something completely different to what you would usually do? For example, take a trip for a change of scenery.

 

It is important to know that if you are feeling lonely or isolated this Christmas, you are not alone. The Health Assured confidential helpline is available 24/7, 365.

 

If you simply need a listening ear or if you want any practical information and guidance, our trained counsellors and advisors are available to support you in any way they can.

 

 

If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

UK: 0800 030 5182

ROI: 1800 936 710

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