Christmas is for spending time with loved ones – why are some people lonely at the most festive time of the year?
It’s been a fact in the media that 59% of adults aged over 52 are ‘lonely’ to some degree, and that in itself is upsetting and frustrating. The reasons from this vary from losing a partner, to families moving away and children growing up, but what is loneliness and what can we do to help control it?
What exactly is ‘loneliness’?
Loneliness is an emotional and often unpleasant reaction to isolation. The term ‘isolation’ can mean a lot of things. Perhaps an individual has no family or partner around, or maybe a person is married with children, but they don’t feel they can talk to them about anything. The word can be quite embarrassing for the person but even so, they rarely want to address the situation and never feel like they can or want to bother anyone about it.
What can you do to help someone or yourself with loneliness?
There are ways you can help, some more discreet than others! This can be essential when people insist they don’t need help, but it’s obvious that they do in fact need someone or something.
A lonely person may not realise it, but being able to have a friend there to talk to is something that can always help. Something to take their minds off the stresses of life, or just to have a that little bit of company. The company you give or obtain doesn’t have to be an intense therapy session to find out how the person is feeling to make them even more on edge, it can simply be talking about something they enjoy or to ask about upcoming events they may be excited about.
Plan an outing.
There’s something really relaxing about going out for the day, and when choosing the right place or venue, there really is nothing better! Go to a Christmas market or a wintry stroll around the local park. Getting some fresh air will clear your minds and you’ll have a great time in the process. It doesn’t have to cost anything but your time, and time is an underrated gift.
Get a companion.
It may seem far-fetched to some, but the only way for some people to get over a loss or a break up is to get a new companion. The loneliness they feel can only be filled by a loved one, and in today’s day and age, this can be in any way shape or form! From speed dating to realistic sex dolls, or from meeting someone on an online website, there’s a multitude of ways to fill the gap.
Give some space.
Yes, it’s great to go out and keep busy, but from time to time, people just want to be alone. But try and encourage a person to do something productive with their time or perhaps do something that they like doing instead of spending their time in bed or in front of the T.V.
Get a pet.
If it’s appropriate, a proven way to make people happier and to combat their loneliness is by buying a pet. Something that depends on that person to stay alive and be healthy. Dogs for example, are very affectionate creatures and show lots of love, but it’s very important that your chosen animal is going to be looked after well.
If you need help or advice from a professional regarding loneliness or the early signs of depression, contact your GP for information.