While Boris Johnson has ruled out putting any new Covid-19 restrictions in place ahead of Christmas Day, there are still plenty of people up and down the country planning for a second Christmas away from family and friends.
Whether you’re self-isolating because you’ve caught Covid-19 or are choosing to stay away from vulnerable family members, having to spend Christmas alone can be pretty tough. Isolation is a lonely experience on its own, but at a time traditionally reserved for loved ones, spending time away from others can feel particularly hard.
However, being alone on Christmas doesn’t have to be a wholly lonely experience. While it’s only normal to go through some feelings of isolation and sadness, there are things you can do to make the experience a little easier – including joining in with one of the virtual events and activities that will be taking place across the UK this Christmas. Attending yet another virtual gathering may seem less than exciting at this point (who thought we’d ever have another Zoom Christmas?), but it’s a great way to structure your day and give you something to do if you end up feeling low.
With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide to all the things you can do this Christmas if you’re feeling lonely. And once you’re done, make sure to check out our guide to the best solo Christmas tradition ideas to give you some more inspiration, too.
Take part in Sarah Millican’s #JoinIn
Join the Church of England’s ‘carols and chat’ event
Join Mind’s Side by Side community
Play board games online
For many of us, playing board games with friends or family is the highlight of our festive season – and thanks to modern technology, you can continue that tradition online.
Not only can you set up the board and play via Zoom (if both of you own the game in question), but during the pandemic, lots of our favourite board and card games released their own virtual versions to allow people to connect online
You can check out our guide to the best board games to play this Christmas to find out more.
Give or receive on One Another
If you’re not self-isolating and looking to connect with people in your local community, social kindness platform One Another could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Whether you want to volunteer your time, request assistance from a local person or share a note of gratitude with your community, One Another allows users to connect with like-minded people in a secure place.
Call a helpline
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with loneliness, you can find support and resources on the mental health charity Mind’s website and NHS Every Mind Matters, or access the NHS’s list of mental health services.
If you are struggling with your mental health as a result of loneliness, you can also ask your GP for a referral to NHS Talking Therapies, or you can self-refer.
For confidential support, you can also call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.