How to battle loneliness at Christmas 06/12/2022

How to combat loneliness over the Christmas holiday

Loneliness is something that isn’t talked about often with young people. Especially around Christmas time, where it can add extra pressures on your mental health. It’s important to remember, just because it’s a holiday season, it doesn’t mean that your mental health should take a back seat.

Loneliness at Christmas

Many people feel lonely at Christmas for different reasons – you may have lost a loved one close to this time of year, or it is the first Christmas after a breakup. For young people, social media plays a big part in mental health. Seeing other people enjoying Christmas with their families and making plans for New Year’s Eve can make the loneliness feel worse. Mental health problems can make it harder to join in with the festivities., and some families work over the festive period, which can exacerbate loneliness.

What are the signs of loneliness?

Some of the signs of loneliness can also be symptoms of other mental health issues, but some include:

  • Spending a lot of time alone
  • Being unproductive
  • Get stuck on negative situations
  • Often getting ill
  • Overly attached to material possessions

How to manage loneliness at Christmas

First things first is awareness. To be able to manage loneliness, it’s important to recognise that you are lonely. From there, it will be much easier to resolve and move forward from your current situation.

Plan ahead – start to plan before Christmas. If you can’t join your family in person, try arranging a call or FaceTime during the day so you can catch up. Same with any friends who are also alone. If your mental health is preventing you from enjoying the festivities in full, make sure you prioritise your feelings first. If it’s too overwhelming, find some time to take a break away to reduce any stress that could build up.

Talk – talking really does help with managing your feelings. Many people will be going through the same situation as you, and you may not even know it. By telling a family member or a friend how you’re feeling, they can help you with how to cope on Christmas Day and in the long term too. If you’re not wanting to open up to anyone you know, reach out to mental health charities like Mind. Their impartiality and expert knowledge means you can talk to them with no judgement, and they can help refer you to services.

Join in an activity – Christmas can be incredibly draining. So, it maybe worth planning for after Christmas, so you have something to look forward to. Try and find a club relating to any passions you may have. As you’ll have similar interests, it will be easier to chat and make new friends. You can also try volunteering. It maybe scary pushing yourself to meet new people, but it’s a great way to increase your confidence.

How to help someone who is lonely

It may seem easy, but don’t try to fix the situation for them just yet. If they’re starting to open up, let them talk and try not to invalidate their feelings. It’ll only make them feel worse.

Try helping them with broadening their social life. Suggest some clubs they can attend or help them pick up an old passion. Getting started is always the hardest part. If you’re there with them initially, they’re more likely to attend social events/clubs and it’ll get easier from there. It maybe worth using the Christmas holiday to research clubs in the area for afterwards.

Let them know that you’re thinking of them and that they’re not ruining Christmas, as this will be a worry for them. You could help them with being able to leave the festivities for a break if their mental health is taking its toll or try to include them in activities over the Christmas period.

As a worst case scenario, counselling is always there as an option. Their professional advice can help them at home with coping with loneliness as well as in social situations too. They’re more likely to open up to someone they don’t know. Use the holiday to find local counsellors if they’re in desperate need to talk to someone.

It can be draining looking after someone else in any case, let alone at Christmas. Confide with trusted people the situation and make sure that you also prioritise your mental health. It can be a big juggle, but it’s very rewarding seeing them improve and battle their loneliness.

Kidderminster College Safeguarding Team

Kidderminster College have a dedicated, friendly Safeguarding Team who are always on hand for any students who need help. Pop down to Student Services or send them an email at

All emails are treated with confidentiality.


MIND – Mental health charity hotline

BEAT – Eating disorder charity hotline

CALM – Help others who are living miserably

Stand Alone – Help those who are estranged from their families

Cruse Bereavement Care – Help those who have lost loved ones

Counselling hotlines:

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