Loneliness and the Festive Season
More than 2 million Australians feel isolated on Christmas Day
When we think of Christmas it is usually images of a big family laughing and sharing a meal that come to mind. However Christmas can be just another day for many Australians. The Salvation Army confirmed this, reporting that more than 2 million Australians feel socially isolated over the festive period.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one
Losing a loved one is without a doubt one of life’s greatest challenges, and can make the festive period all the more difficult. Doing the things you’d usually do together may not feel right anymore – and that’s okay. Instead of pushing yourself to enjoy the festive period in the same way you used to, it can be helpful to accept that this year may be a little different. It also might be helpful to create a new tradition. Perhaps you could include a special item of your loved ones at the table or acknowledge them through a special toast. Remember to connect with those around you who can show some understanding for what you’re going through. Sharing your woes with others can help get you through tough times a little easier.
Get involved with a community event
If you are feeling a little isolated, consider getting involved in a local community event, such as a carols by candlelight night, a community Christmas lunch or a volunteer event on Christmas day. Wesley Mission Queensland and the Salvation Army both host free Christmas lunches for anyone who may otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. Additionally, many people find that volunteering can help them feel connected to others over the festive season. Whether it be wrapping gifts at your local shopping centre or at a community kitchen on Christmas Day it can be helpful to look into these opportunities.
Friends can be family too
The saying goes that friends are the family you choose, and it couldn’t be more true! If you don’t have family to be with on Christmas Day it can be helpful to get in touch with neighbours or friends and organise to catch up, even if not on Christmas Day itself. If you know someone in a similar situation to yourself, perhaps you could team up and share a meal together on Christmas day.
Want to talk?
The following organisations are open and are there to talk.
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Red Cross: 1800 733 276