Coping with loneliness at Christmas

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Health Assured team

06 December 2022

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

The festive season can sometimes come with pressure for it to be a time of love and cheer. But for many—the reality can look quite different. Maybe you’ve lost family members, are struggling with your own health or you’re worried about your finances this year.

There are many reasons people might be struggling—you never quite know what someone is going through. And what’s more, is that research reveals over a quarter of people feel unable to ask for help when struggling emotionally at Christmas.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, figures show that 18–24-year-olds are the age group that is most embarrassed about opening up this time of year, with 46% confirming they would have a hard time asking for help.

Loneliness is a difficult emotion, which can worsen existing mental health issues, and trigger mental health problems as a result. Even if you have lots of people around, you can still feel lonely inside. In fact, being in this scenario can sometimes make the feeling even more overwhelming. 

In this article, we’ll be looking at how you can support yourself, or someone you care about this year. 

Combating loneliness at Christmas

Feelings of loneliness can be often exacerbated by the pressures of this time of year. Having this understanding can help you work through how you are feeling. Once you recognise you’re feeling lonely, try the steps below:

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 2023 

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? Is there any way you can take a small step towards these goals right now? Working towards a goal can actually help boost your mental health.


Volunteering for a charity or organisation that you are passionate about and supporting people less fortunate than yourself is an incredibly rewarding experience and one that can help you appreciate the positives in your life. It helps you connect with others and do something good, which can also make you feel good in the process.

Practice self-care

when you are feeling lonely, make sure you are doing what you can to look after yourself.  Pamper yourself with a long bath, meditate and exercise.

Spend time in nature

time outside provides a vitamin D boost, reduces anxiety, and increases social interaction. The outdoors offers new experiences, sights, smells, and a sense of awe—which contributes to feelings of expansiveness. So get wrapped up and go exploring this festive season.

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