Whether you’re unable to visit family, have had to uninvite incoming guests or will be spending the day alone, the last-minute shift in plans will come as a shock to all of us. And of course, one of the biggest worries on many of our plates right now will be how to cope with spending the day away from the people we love.
Indeed, as a time traditionally reserved for loved ones, spending Christmas alone or separated from friends and family can seem like an unthinkable prospect.
It’s OK if you’re feeling sad, disappointed or worried about the last-minute change in plans – but if you’re looking for ways to cope with any feelings of loneliness or isolation you might be experiencing, there are a number of virtual events, activities and support networks you can access to make the most of this year’s celebrations.
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 we’ll be adding in all the latest information right up until the day itself. From unlimited Zoom calls to virtual conversations, here’s everything you need to know.
Join a Citysocializer event
Take part in Sarah Millican’s #JoinIn
Join Mind’s Side by Side community
Spend the day on Zoom
Play board games online
For many of us, playing board games with friends and 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 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.
Volunteer to chat to someone
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’ list of mental health helplines and organisations here.
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 email@example.com.