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How to cope with loneliness at Christmas time

How to cope with loneliness at Christmas time

While Christmas is universally portrayed as the happiest time of the year in advertising and those classic festive movies and TV specials, this is often not the reality for some. Christmas can be a time of significant unhappiness and loneliness for the many people facing the festive season alone due to circumstance or perhaps the loss of a loved one.

If you are facing a lonely Christmas there are some simple strategies from our friends at Lifeline WA you can use to get through difficult feelings this December.

Reach out to your community

There a number of events run by services around the Christmas period, like the Mission Australia Christmas Lunch in the Park. This can be an opportunity for people to engage with others who may be in similar situations, to meet someone new or to simply have a nice meal during the festive season.

Reach out to those people that you are missing

If possible, write them a letter, organise a catch up or simply text or call them. This is a way that people can still feel connected to those they are close to.

Celebrate the life of departed loved ones

If you are struggling with loss, celebrate the life of your loved one that is no longer with you and include them in your Christmas celebrations. This can be done by having a photo of them nearby, or by sharing a memory of them with others. You could hang a special ornament on the Christmas tree that reminds you of them and helps make them feel close by.

Dealing with loss

For people experiencing loss at Christmas, know that it is ok to be sad and experience these feelings and emotions. Find people that you feel safe with to express these feelings. People experience grief in their own way and their own time, there is no standard way to grieve but it is important to acknowledge that grief.

If you need to talk to someone

If you are struggling, call a crisis support number to have a chat. Something as simple as a conversation about what you are experiencing can be extremely helpful and make you feel connected and supported.

Lifeline has a telephone service and online chat service available. If you need someone to talk to please call 13 11 14, available 24/7 or utilise Lifeline's Online Crisis Chat Service, available 7pm-12am AEST. If you are struggling with persistent sadness and loneliness, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help from a GP, psychologist or counsellor.

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