How to help others who are lonely this Christmas
While Christmas can be a time for families and couples to come together and have fun, eat lots of food and be merry, it’s also meant to be a time to take a break from the rigorous day-to-day struggles of life and enjoy various celebrations. However, this is not the case for everyone.
Christmas can be a time of loneliness for many or a stinging reminder of lost loved ones that are no longer here with us. And this year is even more strange than it has been in the past, because of the current pandemic.
According to a poll reported by the Guardian, figures show that the scale of being home alone has doubled this year due to this and the updated rules from the government.
The number is higher for those over 65, with at least 1.7 million expecting to be alone on Christmas day. That is a quite a shocking amount of people. But the question is, how can we change it? What can we do about it?
Volunteering is a great way to help out while staying within the guidelines.
There are many charities that you can support that are helping homeless people and others in need during this wintertime. For example, where I live in Manchester, there is a group called Don’t Walk Past that help the homeless.
It is worth checking likeminded groups on social media to see the different ways you can help. There are all sorts of them that cater to different needs.
There is also a website called Do It. They give you options of different needs where you can help out, e.g. crisis, poverty, health, social care, etc.
Another website is NCVO, you can type in your postcode and it will highlight different community centres in your area where you can volunteer.
On a more personal level, you can take food to someone’s house who you know needs help. The government are allowing us to provide care to those that need it, so it might be a good idea to prepare a food basket or hamper and take it round to a neighbour.
It’s a good chance to get to know people and could be the start of a new friendship.
You can form a support bubble with people if you want too as well. This is a way of spending time with older people, particularly those that are feeling lonely this Christmas.
You could dedicate an hour or two per week to go and sit with them, talk to them, perhaps even take them a meal.
However, if you do not want to risk spending time inside the house with those that are at risk of getting COVID-19, you can opt for going on outside walks with them.
There’s nothing like wrapping up in a warm coat, throwing on your wellies, going for a nice winter walk in the park, and being able to at least spend some time with others.
I hope these are some ideas that can help you find ways of combatting loneliness this Christmas.