With celebrations starting earlier every year, and the growing commercialisation of the season, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas.
For most Australians, it is a time of joy and reflection; but for many, Christmas represents loneliness, isolation and stress.
Loneliness often occurs when we don’t receive the contact we crave. It is a common state that affects most people, at least once in a while. As important as it is to recognise these negative feelings in ourselves, the spirit of the season reminds us that we should reach out to others experiencing loneliness at Christmas.
So what simple steps can you take to avoid loneliness at Christmas?
Connect with family and friends: Accept an invitation to Christmas dinner or connect with loved ones online.
Plan your alone time: Spending time by yourself doesn’t mean you’re alone. Plan your ideal day. Breakfast in bed, reading then going for a walk or to the movies. It’s your day, so make the most of it.
Exercise: Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve mental health. As well as lifting your mood, you’ll burn off some Christmas calories.
Volunteer: “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV). Volunteering is a simple way to connect with your community at Christmas. Time is free, and you can give of it freely.
Accept help: Whether it’s to put up the lights or for assistance in buying food or presents, asking for help is the first step in avoiding loneliness at Christmas.
The Salvation Army has many services for those who need help at Christmas, from food hampers and gift assistance to Christmas lunch events and long-term support.
Do you or someone you know need support this Christmas? Then why not reach out to them.