Christmas Alone Doesn’t have to be Lonely
Many of us are going to find ourselves alone this Christmas, lots for the first time ever. Whilst a solo Christmas might not be our first choice, there are plenty of ways to still have an enjoyable day. There will be plenty of us trying to figure out how to replace the usual rituals of gathering and sharing on what can be one of the brightest days of the year, but also one of the loneliest. We have put together a guide with activities and ideas to get the most out of the festive period, even if you are alone.
Have some ‘me-time’
First, what about starting with some self-care? If you have some unexpected time alone turning it into some ‘me time’ could be just what you need; let’s face it, after this year we could all do with some self-care. Self-care is different for each and every one of us, it could include getting out for some fresh air, staying in and clearing up, or treating yourself to something new. You could even think about cooking a dish that was a childhood favourite if you can’t face the full Christmas dinner preparation. If you’re looking for ideas, there are some great ideas online for self-care on a budget.
While your gym might not be open and it could be too cold for a run, consider starting your morning by streaming a workout video or yoga class. After all, as you’ve heard before, exercise increases endorphins, which will help you start your day with your mood already elevated. You can follow a range of exercise videos on the NHS website.
The Magic of Music
Music is a scientifically proven way to boost your mood, thanks to the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine (which regulates pleasure) and serotonin (which contributes to wellbeing and happiness). So, try creating your own soundtrack “for a festive me-day” or rock out to your favourite songs.
If you need some extra help to get in the festive spirit you can stream the Kirklees Christmas concerts now. There is something for everyone to enjoy with the University of Huddersfield’s Christmas Brass Extravaganza and Gordon Stewart’s Christmas Concert.
You can find other musical activities on the Creative Kirklees website.
Escape into a Book
Diving into a good book might help to transport you into an entirely different world, one that you wouldn’t usually have time to explore. Download a reading app and try out a buzzy best-seller, indulge in a romance novel, or make your way through some of the suggestions in The Guardians Best Books of 2020 list.
If you are a member of Kirklees Libraries, you can get free e-books online by signing up for our e-library.
The Best of TV and Film
We all love to watch some good Christmas TV, so this year stock up on your favourite chocolate and get your comfiest blanket. Check out the guide to the best Christmas movies, from all time classics to modern favourites. There are lots to choose from on TV over the next few days and even more on streaming services!
As we can’t leave the house this year, we’ve found the best ways to celebrate the holidays at home. Your day might consist of lots of food and drinks, and unwrapping presents. Alternatively, you could get creative during your fun filled Christmas at home. Find some fun, festive activities here – most of which you can do alone: 21 Fun Quarantine Christmas Ideas 2020 – How to Celebrate Christmas at Home (goodhousekeeping.com)
If you are interested in knitting and want to do something local, why not join in with the Big Rainbow Knit.
Just because we can’t see anybody face to face, doesn’t mean we can’t make meaningful connections. Connection is one way we can face loneliness. It can happen in many ways, including joining virtual events, supporting a neighbour or reaching out to an old friend. This winter, the Great Get Together wants to reduce loneliness and reduce stigma by building connection. Running all the way until 18 January, The Great Winter Get Together has a different theme each week, all encouraging us to connect with others.
If a comedy-social media combination appeals to you, for the past ten years, Sarah Millican’s Christmas Day has been occupied with a very special venture. Over on Twitter, she hosts an annual party called #JoinIn. She has said, “There are people who are on their own, or feel lonely, and don’t want to be. People can then see other people who are on their own and cheer up the people who are a little bit sad. It’s just the most joyous thing. It feels like so much part of my Christmas traditions.” Using the hashtag #JoinIn, you can chat to other people, from all over the world, and feel less isolated.
If you would normally go to church, but are unable to get to your local church service this year many are providing online alternatives, you can find links to local churches websites online.
Talk to Someone Who Can Help
The Samaritans are dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. The charity runs almost entirely with the support of volunteers, offering help to those in need, 24/7 – before, during and after a crisis. If you need someone to talk to, you can contact the Samaritans on their 24-hour service by calling 116123.
As we get older, we spend more and more time on our own, this year more than ever. The Age UK telephone chat is a great service for combating the feelings of loneliness and isolation. They offer free telephone friendship services so you can enjoy chatting with someone over the phone, from the comfort of your own home. Whether you enjoy speaking to someone every day or every week, they are here to help! Telephone friendship | Age UK
People like to be heard, which is why we are excited that Peer Talk in now based in Batley, Kirklees. Find out more about them here PeerTalk Support Groups
Give Something Back
What about spending some of your time volunteering? Local charities and community groups need our help more than ever to support local people over the festive season.
So this Winter, the festive volunteering opportunities may be a bit different (for example, groups that would normally be hosting a Christmas meal for people in need, may be delivering meals to people in their homes, and groups may be asking for money to buy gifts, food and supplies, rather than donations) but there are still lots of community groups and foodbanks helping people in crisis or in difficulty. Find out more about how you could get involved.
A small act of kindness can go a long way to brightening someone’s Christmas and show that you care. Our refuse collectors are helping Santa save Christmas again, this year they’re asking you to help make Christmas less rubbish by calling someone you love! If you have some spare change, please consider donating to the Samaritans Emergency AppealKirklees Council is fundraising for Samaritans (justgiving.com)Samaritans Emergency Appeal, the current Mayor’s charity who are there to listen and support 24/7. Find out more on our website.
We hope you manage to enjoy the festive period and remember that we are all in this together.