Even during ‘normal’ times almost a million people feel lonelier at Christmas than throughout the year. 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, the number of people experiencing feelings of loneliness is at an all time high.
Loneliness isn’t the same as being alone. 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. Experts says that loneliness can have a negative impact on your mental health and is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress.
If you are going to be alone this Christmas or are already feeling isolated and finding the Christmas period tough, there are a number of services that you can access that offer support, here are some of them listed below.
Re-engage – a free service for older people who live alone who would like a friendly phone call every week or two.
Calm – a helpline or webchat open every evening 5pm to midnight for anyone who is down or feels they’ve hit a wall