5 ways to deal with loneliness at Christmas

‘Tis the season to love and feel loved. But with a quarter of adults worrying they will spend Christmas alone, we've found some ideas to help you – and others – feel less isolated
1. Write a lovely letter

WarriorKind is a mental health organisation helping lonely individuals bond via the written word this winter. We all know how cathartic writing can be, and connecting with a stranger through letters also means you’re making a potential new friend. Plus, it adds to an air of anticipation every time the post pops through the door!

2. Go for a walk

If you fancy some company next time you go for a stroll, check out go4awalk.co.uk to find like-minded walkers nearby. Anyone interested can share their preferred walking areas, ability levels (long-distance, path walking etc) and availability. And you can still be socially distanced, of course…

3. Volunteer

If you’re not going to be with loved ones this Christmas, helping others can be a rewarding way to spend time. Of course, volunteering won’t look the same as usual this year – but there are plenty of options. Crisis, the homeless charity, would like volunteers to make calls to people who need help, lead online activities, or even perform music over Zoom. Meals on Wheels is looking for offers of help to deliver food to those who can’t afford to buy their own, and Re-Engage is seeking phone call companions to ensure elderly people don’t feel so alone and isolated. Check out Do-it.org to find out options in your area.

4. Sing your heart out

Fancy belting out some Christmas carols? The Sofa Singers is a twice-weekly online singing event, bringing hundreds of people from around the world together for some simultaneous singing fun. Afterwards, there’s a virtual tea break where individuals can say hello and share a poem or story. And you can register for free – you just need access to Zoom. Go on, tune in!

5. Build virtual connections

If you need someone to talk to, the Frazzled Cafe hosts peer-support meetings online and they are open to anyone. Know someone who’d enjoy a visit but they don’t have the tech? Point them towards WaveLength, where people who are lonely and can’t afford equipment are given a radio, television, or tablet – free of charge – to help them connect.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, contact your GP in the first instance. And if it’s outside surgery hours – whatever you’re going through – you can call the Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123.