Self

Resources For Coping With Loneliness Over The Christmas Period

There's lots of help and advice for those worried about the impact the festive season may have on their mental health.

Woman holding cup of coffee while working on laptop at home for Christmas. New Year and Xmas concept...
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Over the last year I’ve set myself small milestones for when things will be back to something resembling "normality." Summer came and passed. September didn’t look promising. Now Christmas is here and you'd be forgiven for feeling like the nation is waiting for a train that’ll never come. After Boris Johnson announced new COVID-19 restrictions on Dec.19, you may be facing a Christmas that hardly resembles the one you’re used to. So, here’s some great mental health resources if you're struggling to cope this festive season.

London and the south east entered tier four at midnight on Dec. 19. This meant that people in these areas were no longer allowed to leave the region over the festive period or mix with people outside their households. Similarly, the five day period of household mixing between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 was scrapped. Three households will be able to mix on Dec. 25 in tiers one to three in England and Scotland and only two in Wales, while travel to Scotland from other parts of the UK is not longer allowed except in very specific circumstances. The pandemic has put a spotlight on our physical health, but it’s also had a monumental impact on people’s mental health. So if you feel like a change to your Christmas plans, or just the festive season in general has pushed you to the end of your tether, here are some great mental health resources, guides, and hotlines.

Resources

Mind

Mind is a leading mental health charity in the UK. They’ve dedicated a whole section on their website to the pandemic and how to cope. In light of the new restrictions they also have advice about what to do if your Christmas looks different this year.

Mental Health At Work

If you're working this Christmas or are struggling with work-related problems, Mental Health At Work has resources and guides that can help.

Black Minds Matter

Black Minds Matter connects Black individuals and families with free mental health support and services. They also have resources on breaking down the stigma of mental health and speaking about what you’re feeling.

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness is working to change the way that mental health is spoken about and perceived. Their website collates resources, testimonials, and information about services. They also have a section on supporting yourself during COVID-19.

Stand Alone

Stand Alone is a charity that supports people who are estranged from their families. They’ve produced a guide on ways to cope at Christmas when you're alone and creating traditions that work for you. Similarly, they’ve put together podcast episodes and resources about how to manage during the pandemic.

Harley Therapy

Harley Therapy provides information about how to access therapy and counselling should you want it and seeks to bust the myths surrounding mental health. They’ve put together a resource about how to cope during Christmas if you’re spending it by yourself or in different circumstances.

Together

Together is a mental health and wellness charity which brings together practical advice, emotional support, and personal stories as well as working with mental health professionals. Their section on COVID-19 highlights how you can best look after yourself at home and where to reach out to for help.

Hotlines

Shout

You can text Shout with the word ‘SHOUT’ on 85258 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Samaritans

The Samaritans phone line is open anytime and you can call on 116 123. Similarly, you can reach Samaritans by email on jo@samaritans.org.

The Mix

The Mix supports young people between the ages of 16-24. You can call them anytime on 0808 808 4994. The also work in partnership with Shout and you can text them on 85258.

Switchboard

Switchboard is a charity that offers mental health support to LGBTQ+ people. You can call them on 0300 330 0630 between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Similarly, you can email chris@switchboard.lgbt.

The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network

The BAATN has a directory of therapists to help you find tailored support from someone who really understands your lived experiences. Their website has a directory of therapists and information on how to get started.

Saneline

Saneline’s helpline is open between 4:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and can be accessed on 0300 304 7000.

Papyrus

Papyrus is a charity that supports people who are having suicidal thoughts and their loved ones. You can contact them on 0800 068 4141 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org.

Guides

After the government announced its revised plans many organisations and publications reached out to experts and people who have spent Christmas in differing circumstances before, to look at how best to tackle it.

Glamour highlights the importance of letting yourself feel down or disappointed. Oprah magazine recommends you get lost in a good book. ITV outlines the importance of reaching out to people, even if you can’t be in the same room. Similarly, Very Well says you can spend the day working on a new project. Lastly, Vogue says if you don’t feel like doing traditional Christmassy things (eating Turkey and watching Christmas films) then don’t. Do it your way.