Will you be lonely this Christmas? — Scope | Disability forum
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Will you be lonely this Christmas?

Tori_Scope
Tori_Scope Posts: 8,170

Scope community team

edited December 2020 in Coffee lounge
Christmas will be different for most of us this year and, for some people, this will mean spending the festive period alone. 

The Guardian have reported that it's estimated around 8% of people in the UK will be spending Christmas alone this year, which is around double what it's usually thought to be.

Of course, some people enjoy spending the Christmas period alone, and that's totally fine, but others might be feeling a little lonely, even if they don't celebrate Christmas.

I've collected together a few ideas of what to do if you're worried about feeling lonely over the festive period.

Interact on the online community

It should go without saying that your friends on the online community are always here for you if you're feeling lonely at any time, including over the Christmas period. 

We've got lots of fun Christmas-themed content coming up, and I'm sure you'll all have lots to chat about throughout December too!

Connect with people on Twitter by using #JoinIn

The comedian Sarah Millican runs a #JoinIn initiative on Twitter each year. By using this hashtag, you can connect with others who might be feeling alone or low. It's a great way to chat to new people and have a laugh online.

Get in touch with a friend or family member

Some people have friends and family they'd usually spend Christmas with, but might not able to meet with this year due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

If you're in this position, there are plenty of ways you could stay in touch with your friends and family over the Christmas period:
  • Phone call
  • Video call
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Text
  • Letters and cards
Equally, if you know that a friend or family member might be feeling lonely this Christmas, then consider giving them a call or text to check-in with how they're doing.

Sometimes it can be nice just to have a chat with the people you care about, but you could also arrange to do some activities. @Lou_Scope started a thread on socialising virtually, which you can use to start you off with a few ideas.

Sign-up for a call companion or befriender

Not everyone has friends or family, or people around them, that they enjoy speaking to. Some people also feel as though they don't want to 'burden' their loved ones with phone calls. If that sounds like you, then perhaps you could consider signing up to be matched with a call companion or befriender. 

Here are two examples of organisations you can use to be matched with someone who'll call you for a natter every one or two weeks. Phone befriending schemes are often run from local hubs, so it's worth looking around locally too. If you're struggling to find something, let me know and I'll have a search for you :)
  • Reengage - for anyone living alone or in sheltered housing, who struggles to get out
  • Age UK - for anyone over 60
You could also consider signing up to become a volunteer call companion or befriender yourself.

baubles hanging on a christmas tree

Stay active and busy

This is important for everyone, but it's especially important if you think you might feel a little lonely this Christmas. Here are a few ideas for activities you could do.

Go on some wintery walks or outings

This is good for getting some fresh air, and also for keeping yourself active. You could do this alone, or with a friend.

Make some tasty festive treats

@janer1967 helpfully created a thread for everyone to share their festive recipes. Stay tuned for some food-based content coming from us too...

Make your own Christmas crafts

Use that artistic flair you've been hiding to make some fun decorations or cards. You could decorate your own space with them, or even send them to others. 

Join an online group

Lots of events and activities have moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic, so there are plenty of groups to sign-up to this month, moving into 2021.
  • Find out if Age UK is running anything for people in your area
  • Join an online choir, such as the Sofa Singers
  • See if there are any online book clubs running in your area. These are sometimes run by individuals, or local libraries

Are you worried about being alone this Christmas? What other activities could people do to keep themselves occupied over the Christmas period? 
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Comments

  • WestHam06
    WestHam06 Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,396 Pioneering
    Thank you for sharing this with us @Tori_Scope, some really useful ideas :) Thank you. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,170

    Scope community team

    That's lovely @woodbine :) I'm sure they'll really appreciate it!
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,170

    Scope community team

    No problem @WestHam06, I'm glad it's given you some ideas :) 
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  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    I'll be on my own on Christmas Day, the same as some of the past few years.....not usually a problem, as my son & daughter-in-law usually celebrate Christmas with me a little earlier due to work commitments, etc. This year apparently they would appreciate a 'take away' Christmas meal as they worry about having a meal with me in my home.
    Last year my lovely friend thespiceman & I were both on the community on Christmas Day; Adrian & other members were also there which was great. This year I'm going to miss thespiceman dreadfully (I fear something has happened, as I haven't heard from him for some weeks).
    I would appreciate each & every one of you who can give a little time to the community on Christmas Day, & over the Christmas/New Year period to do so, thinking about thespiceman, thank you.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,141 Disability Gamechanger
    Excellent idea @chiarieds and yes the spaceman is much missed by many of us here.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,553

    Scope community team

    I'm sorry to read you've not heard from thespiceman in a few weeks @chiarieds. If you're concerned something has happened it may be worth you speaking to the police and trying to organise a welfare check. Hopefully he's just been caught up with something but if you've other reason to be concerned it's worth checking up. 

    I'll definitely be popping on over Christmas again this year and I hope lots of our members and volunteers can spare time to say hello too. 
    Community Manager
    Scope

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  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm surprised at that 8% figure, and the fact it's double the norm.  Surely there are more than 4% of Brits that don't even celebrate Christmas?

    I'll be spending Christmas alone through choice.  Will probably come on here for a bit as I do every day lol.
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 6,648

    Scope community team

    I'm surprised at that 8% figure, and the fact it's double the norm.  Surely there are more than 4% of Brits that don't even celebrate Christmas?

    I'll be spending Christmas alone through choice.  Will probably come on here for a bit as I do every day lol.
    As long as you are on here, you will never be alone :) 
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  • cjbraiden
    cjbraiden Member Posts: 21 Courageous
    Hi I have Autism, amongst other disabilities. I only have a few friends. I expect I will see at least one friend over Christmas. I use to get terribly lonely but I've lived on my own since 2007. I'm now okay with my own company. I was invited to a Christmas lunch with a friends family, from Church, one year. Found it terribly stressful, so I would be happy to see just one friend on Christmas day.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,170

    Scope community team

    Hopefully you'll get to see a friend over Christmas then @cjbraiden. Are you able to organise something with them now, and get it booked in? 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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  • IrishManc
    IrishManc Member Posts: 47 Courageous
    Christmas will be different for most of us this year and, for some people, this will mean spending the festive period alone. 

    The Guardian have reported that it's estimated around 8% of people in the UK will be spending Christmas alone this year, which is around double what it's usually thought to be.

    Of course, some people enjoy spending the Christmas period alone, and that's totally fine, but others might be feeling a little lonely, even if they don't celebrate Christmas.

    I've collected together a few ideas of what to do if you're worried about feeling lonely over the festive period.

    Interact on the online community

    It should go without saying that your friends on the online community are always here for you if you're feeling lonely at any time, including over the Christmas period. 

    We've got lots of fun Christmas-themed content coming up, and I'm sure you'll all have lots to chat about throughout December too!

    Connect with people on Twitter by using #JoinIn

    The comedian Sarah Millican runs a #JoinIn initiative on Twitter each year. By using this hashtag, you can connect with others who might be feeling alone or low. It's a great way to chat to new people and have a laugh online.

    Get in touch with a friend or family member

    Some people have friends and family they'd usually spend Christmas with, but might not able to meet with this year due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    If you're in this position, there are plenty of ways you could stay in touch with your friends and family over the Christmas period:
    • Phone call
    • Video call
    • Social media
    • Email
    • Text
    • Letters and cards
    Equally, if you know that a friend or family member might be feeling lonely this Christmas, then consider giving them a call or text to check-in with how they're doing.

    Sometimes it can be nice just to have a chat with the people you care about, but you could also arrange to do some activities. @Lou_Scope started a thread on socialising virtually, which you can use to start you off with a few ideas.

    Sign-up for a call companion or befriender

    Not everyone has friends or family, or people around them, that they enjoy speaking to. Some people also feel as though they don't want to 'burden' their loved ones with phone calls. If that sounds like you, then perhaps you could consider signing up to be matched with a call companion or befriender. 

    Here are two examples of organisations you can use to be matched with someone who'll call you for a natter every one or two weeks. Phone befriending schemes are often run from local hubs, so it's worth looking around locally too. If you're struggling to find something, let me know and I'll have a search for you :)
    • Reengage - for anyone living alone or in sheltered housing, who struggles to get out
    • Age UK - for anyone over 60
    You could also consider signing up to become a volunteer call companion or befriender yourself.

    baubles hanging on a christmas tree

    Stay active and busy

    This is important for everyone, but it's especially important if you think you might feel a little lonely this Christmas. Here are a few ideas for activities you could do.

    Go on some wintery walks or outings

    This is good for getting some fresh air, and also for keeping yourself active. You could do this alone, or with a friend.

    Make some tasty festive treats

    @janer1967 helpfully created a thread for everyone to share their festive recipes. Stay tuned for some food-based content coming from us too...

    Make your own Christmas crafts

    Use that artistic flair you've been hiding to make some fun decorations or cards. You could decorate your own space with them, or even send them to others. 

    Join an online group

    Lots of events and activities have moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic, so there are plenty of groups to sign-up to this month, moving into 2021.
    • Find out if Age UK is running anything for people in your area
    • Join an online choir, such as the Sofa Singers
    • See if there are any online book clubs running in your area. These are sometimes run by individuals, or local libraries

    Are you worried about being alone this Christmas? What other activities could people do to keep themselves occupied over the Christmas period? 
    At age 50, living alone and despite doing so during my previous 17 years supermarket retail experience up to my redundancy in Sept 2019 - present, even though I hold an Irish passport here in the U.K. where I’ve lived since 2002, the Irish government will not allow me to come home to my family in my home County in Rural Republic of Ireland until at least June 2021 regardless of vaccine status, so keeping in contact online with them across the Irish Sea is very important and especially during Christmas 2020 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,170

    Scope community team

    I'm sorry that you were made redundant, and that you aren't able to visit your family this Christmas @IrishManc. I'm glad that you've been keeping in touch with them online though :) Will you be able to meet or speak with any friends (safely, of course) over the Christmas period? 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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  • soconfused
    soconfused Member Posts: 102 Courageous
    edited December 2020
    I have a dad who is in his 80s and my nan is in her 90s they live together after my mum died.. They are not doing anything for xmas although I have offered to go over and park on their drive for a few days. They declined.

    As for me, I am never lonely - always someone to interact with. Even as I type this I am sat in a private field. it's blowing a gail and raining hard and it's very cold outside but I have my Gas heating on In the Motorhome - I am dry and tummy is full!

    So I am happy and will be on Xmas day too
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 6,648

    Scope community team

    Sounds like you definitely get good use out of your camper van @soconfused :) 
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  • soconfused
    soconfused Member Posts: 102 Courageous
    edited December 2020
    Sounds like you definitely get good use out of your camper van @soconfused :) 
    I've been living in a van or some type or another since days before all this Broke. I just got another one which is a bit bigger so I have more room :)  Off to Spain for Xmas tonight - going to sit on the beach on Xmas day in 29 degree heat with a beer :) 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,170

    Scope community team

    Hi everyone! I hope you're all managing okay, despite everything that's going on. I know that I'm struggling a bit with some of the changes that have been made recently (my brother will now be alone this Christmas, and I'm also now somewhat stuck in tier 4, away from my home in Leeds), so can appreciate that we're all dealing with the current situation in our own way. 

    I just wanted to pop on to share this resource from Mind on Christmas and coronavirus, which includes information on:
    • difficult feelings about Christmas during coronavirus
    • ideas for celebrating Christmas during coronavirus
    • spending Christmas alone during coronavirus
    If you find yourself struggling over the festive period, or at any other time, please remember that you can reach out to a number of organisations, including:
    Mind also have a more comprehensive list of organisations' helplines and their Christmas opening hours.
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to tell us how we're doing? Complete our feedback form now.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,141 Disability Gamechanger
    Sounds like you definitely get good use out of your camper van @soconfused :) 
    I've been living in a van or some type or another since days before all this Broke. I just got another one which is a bit bigger so I have more room :)  Off to Spain for Xmas tonight - going to sit on the beach on Xmas day in 29 degree heat with a beer :) 
    It was 17 degrees today in Southern spain, damn site better than the 4 degrees here but sadly not 29 degrees.
    Enjoy your Christmas
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • soconfused
    soconfused Member Posts: 102 Courageous
    Merry Christmas all! I escaped to Portugal and it's about 16 here but no rain. I am sat on a cheap site for 2 weeks. I got out just before all the Dover stuff started. 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,141 Disability Gamechanger
    Merry Christmas all! I escaped to Portugal and it's about 16 here but no rain. I am sat on a cheap site for 2 weeks. I got out just before all the Dover stuff started. 
    Are you in the Algarve?
    Be extra nice to new members.

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