What to do if you’re feeling lonely over Christmas

Some words, thoughts and things for those feeling alone this festive season. And for those worried about a friend or relative.

As joyous and fun the festive season is for many, you don’t need us to tell you that this time of year in particular can be a hard one in which to find a smile sometimes. We’ve thus put together this short piece both for those feeling particularly alone at this time of year, and also for those worried about someone they know.

Please: feel free to steal this particular article and post it wherever you need.

Firstly, for those struggling a little.

As much as it may not feel it – and we utterly get that it doesn’t – you’re not by yourself in feeling lonely. There are, however it may seem, other people going through some variant of what you’re going through. It may not be much comfort, but many of us are struggling to fit in.

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Over the course of the year, we’ve run over 25 pieces in our Geeks Vs Loneliness series, and if there’s a unifying factor underlying each of those pieces, it’s that lots of people are in similar proverbial boats.

The full collection of pieces can be found here, but in particular, do take a look at the comments. The thing about internet comments is that – however it may appear otherwise – they’re all written by human beings. Human beings, in many instances, who aren’t having the best of times.

Please, please, please then: reach out to someone. Talk to someone. Post in the comments below our waffle here. Interact in some way with another human being, and don’t bottle everything up.

Even the person you know who may appear to be bristling with confidence, and have a perfect life? Chances are things aren’t as they seem. Every one of us has foibles and insecurities.

If things feel more than a sense of loneliness, and you’re battling a disease as horrible as depression, then our heart very much goes out to you. Again: please, please, please: talk to someone. Make contact. Know that there are people, however it may feel, who are on your side.

There are some wonderful organisations, and we’ve spoken to one or two people this year who’ve been afraid of getting in touch with them, feeling they don’t want to trouble them. But you wouldn’t be. These organisations are wanting to help. Whether you’re in the infancy of not feeling quite right or far down the road, they absolutely want to help. They are full of human beings who, in some cases, may be on the end of a phone ready to help right now.

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Please, please, please: do consider getting in touch with them. 

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, aimed at young men feeling unhappy. It has a web chat service, and freephone phone lines. You can find its website here.

Young Minds is dedicated to the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Parents concerned about their youngsters can call 0808-802-5544. Here is its website.

MIND is an organisation that aims to make sure nobody has to face a mental health problem by themselves. The MIND infoline is 0300 123 3393.

The Samaritans do wonderful work. You can talk to them around the clock on 08457-90-90-90. You can email them too, which is a way lots of people have started initiating contact. The email address is jo@samaritans.org, and even if you just want to say hello, someone will reply within 24 hours. And they’ll reply because they want to.

SANE does amazing work too in battling the stigma that seems to go with mental health. Between 6pm and 11pm, you can give them a call on 0300-304-7000. They welcome calls from anyone affected in any way at all by mental illness and challenges. Here is SANE’s website.

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PAPYRUS is a group that supports teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal. You can call them on 0800 068 4141.

The Depression Alliance can help those around you gain a better understanding of what depression is, and how it affects you. It has a directory of support groups around the country, here.

SAMH is the Scottish Association For Mental Health, and it has an excellent website right here.

Students Against Depression‘s website is full of resources and information. It’s just as useful for those worried about a friend as it is if you’re facing depression yourself.

Maytree supports people feeling suicidal, but in a non-medical setting. Its website is here.

Then, a quick word for those worried about a friend, a relative, or someone they know. We’ve posted these pieces before, but they hit the mark far better than we could. They’re from the Samaritans. One is on what to do if you’re worried about someone, and the other is about how to start a difficult conversation. Do consider checking them out.

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One more thing: we’ve put together – with the help of some amazing people – this little video, just to try and help find an extra smile at what can be a tough time of year. Feel free to spread it far and wide – the direct YouTube URL is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jddp7vbmdrQ if that’s easier, which doesn’t give click backs to the site if you prefer. That genuinely doesn’t bother us. We’re not doing this for money or web traffic. We just hope that it might get the message out that people care to a few more people.

From all of us here to you reading this, then. Whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you’re going through: we hope you find some warmth, a smile, and maybe a bit of happiness over the coming weeks.

We hope to see some of you in the comments below. Warm virtual hugs to you all.