Christmas time for many is a season to be jolly, but for many others Christmas time can lead to episodes of depression and anxiety.
One of the leading causes of depression at Christmas time is loneliness.
People at risk of loneliness include the elderly, those who have had recent relationship breakdowns, parents estranged from their children, those who have recently relocated to a new city, those who have lost loved one recently or whose anniversary falls around Christmas, and those who do not have family and friends around them.
Tips to manage loneliness:
- Make it known before Christmas Day that you do not have any plans for Christmas and make sure you accept any offers that are given to share Christmas with someone
- Attend your local community centre and see if there are any events scheduled for Christmas Day
- If you are spending some of the holiday period alone, ensure to keep yourself busy and treat yourself to something special
- Contact your loved ones via phone, social media, or skype regularly
- Volunteer your time and services at a local charity in the days leading up to Christmas, as this is traditionally a very busy time for charities
- Keep your activities levels up through exercise and get out of the home as regularly as you can
- Do something different and take up a new hobby
- Find positive ways to remember your loved ones – remember the good times that you had with your loved ones and do something that you used to enjoy (such as attending a restaurant that you used to go to together, and give them a toast)
- Get in touch with people you care about who you have lost touch with. Step out if your comfort and pick up the phone or write a letter
Christmas is a time for families, but many families have internal conflicts and this can lead to problems at Christmas time.