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Loneliness during the holiday period: 10 tips to make the most of a difficult situation

The holiday season can be a challenging period for those experiencing social isolation and loneliness. This can be due to distance, loss, or other circumstances and many individuals find themselves feeling disconnected during this time. To try and tackle this, here are ten recommendations to tackle social isolation and loneliness around the holiday period.

  1. Reach out with technology: Embrace the power of technology to bridge the physical gap between loved ones. Schedule video calls, virtual gatherings, or online game nights to share laughter and create meaningful connections. Platforms like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime make it easy to celebrate together, even from afar.
  2. Host a virtual potluck: Create a sense of shared experience by organising a virtual potluck. Encourage friends and family to prepare their favourite holiday dishes and share recipes beforehand. During the virtual gathering, everyone can showcase their culinary creations and enjoy a virtual feast together.
  3. Volunteer for a good cause: Combat loneliness by giving back to the community. Participate in local volunteer opportunities or join virtual initiatives that support those in need. Contributing to a good cause can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment during the holiday season.
  4. Attend community events: Explore local community events, whether in-person or virtual. Many towns organise holiday-themed activities, from tree lighting ceremonies to virtual concerts. Attend these events to connect with others who share a similar festive spirit.
  5. Establish new traditions: Create new holiday traditions that cater to your current circumstances. Whether it’s crafting handmade decorations, watching favourite movies, or exchanging virtual holiday cards, establishing new traditions can bring a sense of joy and anticipation during the season.
  6. Join online support groups: For those facing challenging circumstances, joining online support groups can provide a safe space to share experiences and connect with others who understand. Seek out groups that focus on topics such as grief, loneliness, or mental health to find support during the holidays.
  7. Send thoughtful gifts: Surprise loved ones with thoughtful gifts delivered to their doorstep. Personalised gifts, letters, or care packages can make someone feel remembered and cherished, even from a distance. The act of giving can be just as rewarding as receiving.
  8. Explore hobbies and interests: Engage in activities that bring personal joy. Whether it’s reading, painting, or learning a new skill, investing time in hobbies can provide a sense of accomplishment and serve as a distraction from feelings of loneliness.
  9. Plan outdoor activities: If possible, organise outdoor activities that align with holiday traditions. Whether it’s a winter walk, a picnic in the park, or an outdoor movie night, spending time in nature can lift spirits and provide a refreshing change of scenery.
  10. Seek professional support: If feelings of loneliness persist or become overwhelming, consider seeking professional support. Mental health professionals can provide guidance and coping strategies to navigate the emotional challenges of the holiday season.
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