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

Tori_Scope
Tori_Scope Posts: 7,032

Scope community team

edited December 2021 in Coffee lounge
Christmas can be a difficult period for many, and some will be spending the festive period alone. 

Of course, some people enjoy spending Christmas 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 be able to meet with this year due to 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.

Sign-up for a call companion or befriender

Not everyone has friends or family, or other 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.

Find social groups in your area

Many social groups have now resumed, so now could be a good time to see if there are any social groups in your area that you'd like to join. Here are a few ideas:
  • Find a local friendship centre (Age UK)
  • Meetup.com - to find social groups and events based around interests and activities
  • Have a look on your local council's website to see if they run any activities that would be accessible to you
Even if a group you're interested in joining isn't running over Christmas, it's often nice to have something to look forward to for the new year.

Do an activity you enjoy

This could be Christmas-themed, or something you enjoy doing more generally. 

Perhaps you could try making your own Christmas decorations? Or maybe your idea of festive heaven is to relax with a movie marathon? Whatever floats your boat, try and make sure you take some time to do the things that make you feel good.

If you're stuck for ideas, comment down below and we can all give you some inspiration.

There are also some ideas here on our stress, low mood, and isolation thread.

Go on a wintery outing 

Not everyone's able to get out and about easily, especially during the colder months, but there are plenty of benefits to getting active outside if you feel able. This could be on your own, or with a companion.

Whether you're able to get out on a wintery walk or wheel, or just manage to open the window, getting some fresh air can be a real mood lifter. Feel free to share any wintery pictures you take in the comments down below!

man sat in a chair by a Christmas tree in his pyjamas reading a book

Are you worried about feeling lonely this Christmas?


What other activities could people do to keep themselves occupied over the Christmas period? 
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Comments

  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 7,032

    Scope community team

    I also wanted to remind you that the following services will be open over Christmas, should you need them:
    • 999/A&E: if there's an emergency, including if you feel unable to keep yourself safe
    • Samaritans: call 116 123, or email [email protected]ritans.org 
    • SHOUT: text SHOUT to 85258 to speak to a volunteer over text message
    • Mind's website: has lots of helpful information and tips, including a page on Christmas and mental health
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  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 2,296 Pioneering
    I think this thread is a good idea. I know there are a lot of people that struggle at this time of the year. 

    I personally made the decision not to travel to family last Christmas and therefore I was on my own. This was hard. 

    Even this year I might only be away from home a few hours so will be on my own the remainder of the time. 

    We have a local organisation that used to put on a Christmas Day event for people in this position and they did games and activities and provided you with lunch, this wasn’t on last year and I don’t know if it is on again this year. 

    My plan this year and this is just because it’s how I like to do things is to plan what I’m going to do on the day around seeing family so I have no opportunity to just sit and think. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,329 Disability Gamechanger
    Great thread thanks for putting this together for those who need it 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 7,032

    Scope community team

    Making plans for yourself is a good idea @MarkM88, as it's good to stay occupied and take your mind off of things. Would you like to share any of the things you'll be doing around that time when you'll be at home? You don't have to, of course :) 
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  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 2,406 Pioneering
    I Invited someone who I knew would be alone to be told, no they spend every Xmas alone and its the way they like it and will pop in boxing day.  I mean  might change their mind yet. I have tried the, but there's turkey and a party hat route. Good thread tho
  • leeCal
    leeCal Member Posts: 4,519 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2021
    Hopefülly my family will be around on Christmas Day.

    a few years ago I bought a large bar of chocolate, wrapped it and popped it through the letter box of a chap I knew was alone and would be on Christmas Day. Come the morning there’s a knock on my door and the man was irate, telling me he didn’t celebrate Christmas at all and didn’t need my present. My mistake twofold, firstly by adding a card which included our address so he wouldn’t wonder where on Earth it had come from and secondly for taking it for granted that he would want to celebrate! Oh dear, I apologised of course. Just goes to show you though.

    Happy new year 🥳 


  • TheAlien
    TheAlien Member Posts: 212 Pioneering
    I don't celebrate Christmas and I'll be spending the day alone.  I spend most of the year alone, so why should this one day be any different.
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 2,406 Pioneering
    At least you tried @leeCal.
    Alot of people from different religions don't celebrate Xmas also,  those who are not Christians or Catholic.


  • lisathomas50
    lisathomas50 Member Posts: 4,965 Disability Gamechanger
    My mum is with me my partner will pop round but I am working Xmas eve night and Xmas day night 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 7,032

    Scope community team

    There's nothing wrong with that @TheAlien :) Do you have any particular plans for those few days, or just the usual?
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 7,032

    Scope community team

    It's nice that your partner can pop round @lisathomas50! I hope work isn't too busy on those nights :)
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