Dealing with loneliness this festive season


For many, the festive season is a time for connecting with friends and family to create special new memories. For others however, especially those who have lost a spouse or whose children live abroad, it can be a difficult time to navigate. If you find yourself struggling with loneliness over the holidays, try implementing one or more of these strategies.

1. Do something for someone else
There are very few things that lift your mood quite like paying it forward or feeling needed by others. And fortunately, the festive season offers plenty of opportunities to be generous with your time, talents and finances. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Offer to take a friend or neighbour shopping.
  • Spend a few hours or mornings volunteering at your favourite local charity.
  • Contact a children’s charity in your area and see if you can bake festive biscuits or cupcakes.
  • Drop a cake or two off at your local police station on Christmas Day.
  • Volunteer to help cook at a homeless shelter. And, if you live in Cape Town, think about buying U-Turn vouchers online and giving a few to someone living on the street.
  • Invite friends who are also alone on Christmas for a festive bring and share.

2. Keep moving
While there’s plenty of research to support that exercise is good for our physical health, there’s also science to back the fact that it keeps us mentally fit too. And there’s no denying that a brisk walk around the block or wander through the park with a friend or your pet does wonders for your mood. So, if you find yourself feeling a little down this festive season, put on your walking shoes and get out and about.

3. Lean on your community
If there’s ever a time to reach out to others for support, this is it. So, don’t waste any time – invite members of your book club for tea or drinks, get together with members of your bowling or tennis club for a game, or suggest that your walking club tries a new trail together. If you’re already part of an Evergreen community, take advantage of our warm, welcoming Lifestyle Centres to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend or neighbour, join in a card game, or get together with fellow villagers around shared hobbies and interests.