What does Christmas mean to you?
With the festive season taking hold, many of us look forward to a Christmas time of celebrating with loved ones and enjoying some well-deserved time off. However, for many of our frontline staff and the residents we support, Christmas can also be a very difficult period for a wide variety of reasons.
It’s often a busy time of year and pressure can increase, resulting in some people feeling unable to cope. One in ten people over the festive season consider taking their own lives due to how alone they feel. At least 17% of people feel lonelier than any other time of the year. Read more about this on mental health charity Mind’s website.
According to Age UK there are 1.7 million older people in England that can go for a month without even meeting up with any friends, and 300,000 over 65s have not had any communication with friends or family over the same period. However, Mind have discovered that those who are millennials are twice as likely as the elderly to have a lonely Christmas. Loneliness does not target one particular age group but all ages.
Helpful Tips and ways to combat loneliness over Christmas:
Plan your 2020
During the festive season you could put together a plan of how you want your 2020 to look. This could be as simple as writing goals and aims down.
You could step out and make a difference this Christmas by volunteering.
Make time to talk
Make that conscious effort to talk to someone be it on the bus or whilst you are on your lunch hour just that small gesture could really make that individuals day special.
Call loved ones
A quick 10-minute conversation with friends and/or family shows that you care and are thinking about them during this time especially if you are unable to see them often.
Send a Christmas card
Writing a Christmas card can make someone feel special.
Lend a hand
Often Charities could do with the extra helping hand over the Christmas period.
Create a mince pie moment
Why not buy an extra box of mince pies this year or bake your own and share them between friends, family or neighbour’s.
Pull up a spare chair
If you see someone looking lonely or struggling why not pull up a chair. These are only small gestures but they could make a difference to someone’s day.