Lonely At Christmas

The band, Mud, first reached number 1 in the charts with this song in 1974 and it’s very similar to Blue Christmas, sung by Elvis.

One of the reasons that they’re both so popular is because of the feelings that the words evoke in us, particularly if we’re going to be spending Christmas alone. There is melancholy in both of them and people identify with this.

There are lots of reasons why some of us feel alone at this time of year – maybe a relationship has come to an end or there’s been a bereavement. Social anxiety disorder can stop some of us building up close relationships with colleagues and neighbours as it’s so hard to get out and meet up with people.

All the frenetic activity can bring about emotional and physical stress and tiredness and if you’ve spent too much money, that brings a lot of pressure with it. Also, reflecting on how the previous eleven months have been can be a painful exercise.

If you live some distance from your family and haven’t lived in a new place long enough to build up any strong friendships, Christmas can be one of the loneliest times of the year. Even if you do have a large family nearby, some of us can still feel like an outsider if we’re different in some way. With all the cheerful songs and festive parties many lonely people are crying inside.

It’s not easy to be positive but it is possible – if it’s unavoidable that you’re alone at this time of year, plan ahead. Do something nice for yourself if you can afford it – buy one outfit of new clothes, choose some lovely food to cook even though it’s just for you and plan to watch some great films at home.

If there’s any chance of getting together with neighbours (maybe you’ve not met them before?), invite them round for a pre-Christmas drink. You may think they’re not your type(s) but you never know!

Consider doing some volunteering over Christmas – there are plenty of organisations who need people to cook, care or befriend others over the holiday period.

If you can work over Christmas and your employer needs volunteers to do this, it’s a good idea to consider it. Make sure you’re paid a good rate for this though – no need to martyr yourself!

If you have online friends you could host an online Christmas by setting up a Facebook group or Skype chatroom where people can drop in and out as they please. That way, you don’t have to cook or clean and can drop out as and when you want to.

If you’ve suffered the end of a relationship, either through death or separation, you may feel that you don’t want to celebrate at all. Everything will seem too much trouble and although friends and family might want to ‘bring you out of yourself’, it may be too much for you. If you really feel you’d be happier not socialising this one year, that’s up to you.

However, whatever your circumstances, spending time with positive people can help lift your spirits and you might be grateful for their good-heartedness and good cheer.

Lastly, plan for a better Christmas next year – think about how you can connect with people in the coming months and if depression and anxiety is preventing you enjoying life, visit your GP for support in the New Year or get in touch with a private counsellor (some offer concessions if your finances have taken a dip).

I hope that you’ve found this blog helpful – please comment if you’d like to do so and you can follow me as well, meaning that you’ll get an update each time I write something new.

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