If you’re spending Christmas alone it can be far from “the most wonderful time of the year”.
Instead, it can shine a light on what we feel like we’re missing in our lives.
And if you’re already feeling low, the festive period can be especially hard, as there’s a big difference between how your “supposed” to feel and how you’re really feeling inside.
Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to cope with loneliness at Christmas. Here are our top tips:
Spend time with people
Humans are social animals, and spending time with other people is crucial for our mental health.
If you’re feeling low, you might not feel much like going out and putting on a smile. But socialising is an essential part of a happy and healthy life, and it could help the loneliness.
Perhaps start by going for a cuppa with people that you feel safe around, such as close friends.
Volunteering over the festive period is another great way to spend time with others while also giving back to your local community.
We understand this is a lot easier said than done, especially if you’re feeling low right now. But spending time with other people might take the edge off the loneliness.
Look after yourself
Christmas is a time of celebration, and it’s only natural to forget about calories and units and indulge yourself for a week or two.
But it’s important to keep in mind that our diet has a big impact on our mental health.
Alcohol is a depressant that can actually increase anxiety and stress rather than reduce it, according to Drinkaware. A diet of high-fat, low-nutrient foods (mince pies and pigs in blankets anyone?) can also lead to depression, according to a 2012 study.
So while treating ourselves every now and then is a key part of a happy and healthy life – especially over the festive season – we suggest practicing moderation so your diet doesn’t have a negative impact on your mental health.
When the weather outside is frightful and there’s so much to watch on TV, it’s tempting to spend Christmas snuggled up on the sofa with a hot drink. But a good dose of fresh air and exercise can really help improve your mood, as studies have shown that they release feel-good hormones into your body.
Exercise doesn’t have to be anything complicated either – anything that gets you legs moving and your heartrate up will do. A walk round the park is a great first step, and also the perfect opportunity to invite someone else along and make it a social occasion.
Talk about it
Last but not least, it’s important to know that you don’t have to go through this alone.
It’s healthy to talk through your feelings, and keeping your emotions bottled up is a surefire way to make your situation worse.
So if you’re struggling to cope with loneliness please, get in touch with us to book a private counselling appointment ready for the New Year. Here you’ll be able to open up about how you’re feeling in a safe, judgement-free environment, and then we’ll give you the tools you can use to get back to feeling your best.