YOU GET ready for the festive season and all the celebrations, reunions and parties that Christmas entails, spare a thought for those people who will be on their own over the holiday period. For the elderly or people who live in rural areas, this can be one of the worst times of the year
It’s true that people suffer from loneliness all year round, but at Christmas time their feelings can get much worse and the problem is exacerbated because for most people it is a time of happiness, reunions and celebration.
Simple acts of kindness
How can we as a society help this group of marginalised people? The answer is simple: during the festive season we should extend our feelings of goodwill to those who live on their own or who feel isolated. Simple acts of kindness, such as calling in for a short chat and a cup of tea to a neighbour or friend, can make an immense difference if they suffering from loneliness or feeling isolated.
Call around to your neighbour’s house, especially in the evenings, and check if they need any help with small chores like getting fuel for the fire or making a cup of tea.
If you are aware of someone that is spending a lot of time alone, consider inviting them over for a chat, for dinner or to share in a family event as they may be too shy to ask. This kind of interaction can make all the difference to anyone who has to spend the time on their own.
It’s also important for people who experience loneliness not to isolate themselves and accept invitations from their family and friends to attend events.
They should also consider joining a local group or volunteering for a charity. This will get them out of the house.
If being alone is unavoidable at Christmas, then make a plan to do things that you enjoy such as walking, watching movies or eating your favourite mntact with like-minded people. Volunteering for a charity will also make the participant feel good about helping others.