Loneliness and Grief at Christmas

Loneliness and Grief at Christmas

Christmas isn’t like it looks on TV!  Every advert shows a perfect family, a happy holiday and a wonderful time with friends and loved ones.

With all the ‘perfect’ images, feeling lonely can be particularly difficult at Christmas.  We might be missing someone through bereavement, estrangement, divorce, or simply the high cost of the transport to reach them this year.  We can be lonely because we’re alone, or sometimes we can feel lonely with lots of people surrounding us.  This might be the first year we have found hard, or Christmas might be something we dread every year.


Be kind to yourself – Think about what might help you to get through.  Do you want the comfort of all your usual traditions, or might you need a change this year?  There are no rules

Escape for a moment – Try to distract yourself with something not at all Christmassy – watch a favourite film, spend some time on a hobby, read a book, take a walk

Be careful around social media – Even if you know the pictures are posed, social media will be full of happy posts, and you may need to take a breath before reading, or even choose to avoid scrolling altogether for a few days

Look after yourself – Your usual routine is helpful.  Make sure you rest properly, eat reasonably well and regularly, and don’t overdo the alcohol

Reach out – Contact someone on whatever level feels right to you.  A Whatsapp chat, a phone call, a face to face visit or just a hello when you’re out walking the dog, they all help.

If it feels too much, contact someone

Sarah Millican hosts #joinin on Christmas day on Twitter

The Samaritans 116 123 or online at www.samaritans.org

Cruse bereavement support Helpline on 0808 808 1677 (open 10-2 on Christmas day) www.cruse.org.uk

If you would like to find out more about the support we can offer please get in touch by emailing york@theretreatclinics.org.uk or manchester@theretreatclinics.org.uk or call on 0161 445 2099 or 01904 412551.