Feeling lonely at this time of year with the cheery tunes of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “All I want for Christmas is You” is a reality that many Australians feel. Whilst many people enjoy a full family feast, there are many people, especially older people who experience a higher rate of social isolation. Its OK to be alone at Christmas and recognise that the pressure to be with family or friends is a construct enforced upon us by society’s expectations. Believing these expectations can put extra pressure on you or deepen your sense of feeling alone or lonely. Instead, try these activities to alleviate the feeling of isolation.
- Practice Mindfulness: Meditation and mindfulness can provide an opportunity to reframe your negative thoughts to appreciate the time alone on Christmas day.
- Set yourself a task of doing one positive thing on Christmas Day. It might be to hand deliver a Christmas card to your neighbour, telephone a friend or enjoy a bath or any activity that you know personally lifts your spirits.
- Colouring in: Just like meditation, colouring also allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate anxiety. Here are some online colouring in templates, just add the pencils.
- Enjoy the serenity of mother nature by talking a bushwalk. Use this opportunity to focus on your surroundings, the natural sounds and feel the earth to “ground” how you are feeling. Sydney has plenty of great bushwalking trails to enjoy.
- Volunteer your time to the many charities supporting people this Christmas Day.
These tips may lift your spirits, but if you’re alone at Christmas and feeling overwhelmed please call:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
Your Side (formerly known as Northside) is an independent not for profit with 30 years’ experience in supporting over 500,000 people with disability, mental illness, older people and carers. Your Side coordinates a wide range of high-quality services which gives people greater choice and enhances their independence and wellbeing.