Expert reveals how to avoid loneliness this Christmas
23rd December 2022

Lonely this Christmas? Expert reveals 5 ways to tackle feeling isolated this festive season

  • Wellbeing expert Dr Sarah Boss told FEMAIL her tips for squashing loneliness  
  • Clinical director at The Balance Luxury Rehab said it’s important to shift mindset
  • Volunteering, spending time with animals and self-acceptance are all needed 
  • READ MORE: I’ve refused to invite my brother’s lonely friend for Christmas 

While it’s a time for family gatherings for most, for those who are unable to reconnect with loved ones, Christmas can bring a period of loneliness.

However an expert has now revealed the best ways to handle isolation during the festive season. 

Sarah Boss, clinical director of The Balance Luxury Rehab, said it is ‘important to remember that the holidays do not have to be defined in the traditional sense’ and instead suggested ‘designing your own experience.

Revealing her five tips for ‘reframing’ the holidays, she told FEMAIL: ‘If you are experiencing loneliness over the holiday period, use this as an opportunity to align yourself with the person you want to be going into the next year. ‘

Sarah Boss, clinical director of The Balance Luxury Rehab, has now revealed the best ways to handle isolation during the festive season (st

1. Volunteer

Sarah said it’s important to understand that there is a togetherness in loneliness – which is a deeply universal experiences.

And she explained how one way to feel less isolated can be connecting with others and trying something new. 

She revealed: ‘Many of our clients have experienced these deep feelings during the holidays.

2. Reach out to family and loved ones 

While it can feel easier to settle into usual habits and hibernate during the Christmas break, Sarah suggested this is actually the worst thing to do if you’re feeling lonely.

Instead, she said it may remedy the isolation by organising plans with loved-ones. 

She explained: ‘Now it is easier than ever to reach family and friends over the internet.

‘Make plans to connect this holiday season, whether at home or abroad.’

‘It is a case of reframing this time of year as not a period of loneliness but a time to discover new ways to connect and seek empowerment.

‘Instead of “I am alone this Christmas”, see it as “I am taking this time to look inwards and find healing.”

‘Or instead of “I wish I had more people around this holidays”, make a commitment to yourself like “this year, I will find a charity for those less fortunate and offer my help.”‘

She said volunteering or helping out with a charity could be a good way to feel more connected to others this year. 

Sarah explained: ‘Many people are in need this Christmas and it is a sure way to get involved in a fulfilling activity by giving something back to those in need and a way to make new friends amongst others who are lending their time!’

3. Pick up a new hobby

Elsewhere, Sarah suggested considering the activities which could bring you joy during the festive period. 

She said: ‘Find something you are interested in and find a local group who are doing it.

‘You can learn a new skill and make friends at the same time!’

4. Spend time with animals

Connection doesn’t have to mean speaking with friends and family, according to Sarah, who also advises spending time with animals during the holidays.

She said a simple way to avoid loneliness could mean hanging out with a pet.

Sarah explained: ‘Find a way to engage with dogs, cats, horses or any other animal.’

And if you don’t have a pet, that doesn’t mean you should be without time with an animal.

She said: ‘You may even try dog-sitting over the holiday period to avoid loneliness.’

5. Acceptance

Finally, Sarah explained that it’s better not to fight against negative feelings during the holidays.

Instead, she revealed the importance of acceptance, and allowing feelings to manifest as they happen during the festive break.

The expert said: ‘Finding acceptance and engaging in activities that teach you how to be alone on focus on yourself and your health can have changing and positive affects on you and your situation.

‘Reframe the holidays as a time for rest, relaxation and me time.’ 

Read more like this…

I’ve refused to invite my brother’s lonely friend for Christmas because I don’t want a stranger there – does that make me selfish? 

Mother who promised she would take her adopted dog to visit it’s former owner before changing her mind is slammed – so what would YOU do? 

Woman divides opinion with ‘revealing’ Christmas party outfit from Zara… but do YOU think it’s ‘suitable attire’?

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