It is a well-known fact that older people living alone form the most vulnerable group of people to feel lonely, to the extent that they feel anxious and depressed. This has an extensive impact on their well-being and the quality of their lives.
Most don’t admit to feelings of loneliness, simply because acknowledging it makes them feel vulnerable and they are failures.
AGE UK have reported that 1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely and if we don’t tackle loneliness by 2026 there will be 2 million people over 50 in England who will often feel lonely.
The findings also show that the risk of being often lonely is dramatically higher among those people who are widowed or who do not have someone to talk to openly and honestly without feeling judged.
When you mention to people you will be alone at Christmas or most of the time outside of the season, they say it must be awful to be lonely, and they can relate to that at times – NO – loneliness is a complex human emotion unique to each of us!
Facing Christmas Solo -
For those of you who are busy getting ready to spend the season meeting friends, going for drinks, dinner, social gatherings and then on the big day itself, spending it with family or friends, celebrating – it all sounds like a very enjoyable time of year, but;
For those of you who are alone and maybe not relishing the prospect of all the seasonal music on the radio, adverts on the television, and waking up on Christmas Day with the prospect of spending this what seems like the longest day alone – then please do not let this thought have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
It is only ONE day – let’s focus on the positives
You get to escape the smothering requirements of seasonal cheer.
You can watch what you want when you want.
You escape family dramas or friends getting drunk and engaging in awkward debates.
You can cook what pleases you OR order in!
Don’t leave the day to chance – plan ….. Spoil Yourself
Plan your day around a list of fun things you would like to do!
Wake up and do something different from your daily routine and something indulgent.
Treat yourself – buy a lovely gift to yourself - ready to open. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive but something you have wanted.
Wrap up and go for a walk, say hello to some people along the way, and you will be surprised to meet other people also spending the day alone.
After your walk, have a yummy breakfast. Indulge in smoked salmon and maybe a glass of bubbly. Something different from your regular porridge, toast or cup of tea.
Telephone or facetime a friend or family member and have a chat.
Put on something comfortable, grab a novel you have meant to read for some time and indulge in a few chapters, maybe with a glass of wine, real ale, whiskey or Baileys!
Cook a decadent recipe you've wanted to try. Best accompanied with your favourite radio station or podcast and a glass of the tipple of your choice.
Line up a festive movie or indulge in some retro box sets to make you laugh out loud.
The theme - is to spoil yourself, and it is only for one day, before you know it, its boxing day and all the hype is over.
Remember the good things that we have in our lives, starting with our health.
Are you worried about being alone on Christmas Day?
Sarah Millican’s #JoinIn
There is space for everyone in this worldwide conversation.
Church of England – ‘carols & chat’ event (even if you are not religious but still fancy a sing-song and a chance to talk to others via the YouTuve chat feature)
Christmas Day at 3:30 pm cofe.io/youTube
Mind – Side by Side Community – available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (provides a safe place for you to speak openly about your experiences or support others going through a difficult time.
Campaign against living miserably
We wish you all a peaceful, content and reflective run up to Christmas. Take this time to think briefly about past times and plan how 2023 will be the year that you decide to get on with your life instead of dwelling on all the things that could have been.
Make some positive, little changes to your day and see how these can possibly change your life – slowly but surely. (for more support resources on this, see our 6 step recovery challenge)
2023 is your year to give yourself a jumpstart.
Take good care
Melinda & Jacqui