Christmas, if alone, can be a very hard time for many. Hindered by upbeat music that talks of mistletoe and meet-ups, Christmas films depicting families gathered around trees with happy endings, and a general atmosphere of it being, as Andy Williams declared, the most wonderful time of the year. And whilst all this is to be celebrated, loneliness walks hand in hand with it too for some. Recently released statistics by Age UK illustrate that half a million elderly people will expect to feel lonely in the UK this Christmas, and yet isolation is not just applicable to people of an older age. Last year, mental health charity Mind told of how one in 10 people aged between 25 and 34 admitted they didn’t have anyone to spend Christmas with. A tricky statistic to hear considering Christmas is a time typically spent with family and friends. And yet there are initiatives in place and various other ways to make Christmas alone a time to be celebrated, here are just a few:
Cocktails in care homes? Phwoar, sign us up! This super initiative comes by the hand of Magic Me who are set to bring communities together, let alone generations! Through Cocktails in Care Homes, which launched in 2011, there are monthly parties at ten care homes across the city and your initiation if you will includes a 90-minute session with training in non-verbal communication skills and shake-shake-shaking it up for cocktail making. Being served up will be cosmos to G&Ts and, if you’re feeling daring, maybe a pornstar martini will make it onto the menu! Either way, it’s a good way to chew the fat and mull over history past and present. Alternatively, you can donate here
As if Cocktails in Care Homes wasn’t cute enough, now there’s a Love Thy Neighbour Scheme bringing elderly (65+) in contact with younger members of the community. Running across locations in South London, North London and Manchester, the scheme means you can connect with someone else in the same boat, be it a male or a female. Mutual friendship is encouraged by taking walks, grabbing cups of tea, (and maybe beating your new companion at various boardgames) in an effort to build on the companionship. A recent study by the People’s Postcode Lottery has revealed that 78% of 16-24-year olds have more face to face interaction with their neighbours than any other age group, and so we’re hardly surprised that the Love Thy Neighbour Scheme has become such a popular choice at Christmastime.
It’s probably what springs to mind when it comes to things to fill up time with at Christmas. Volunteering is a tremendous way to give back and keep yourself busy, whether it be a stint at Oxfam and one of their 750 shops around the UK, or Cancer Research, who have 550+ shops to choose from. Or maybe there’s a charity you have in mind which you’d love to give something back to in the form of time. Or if charity shops in the UK are a bit too close to home, why not save up the pennies for next year and Christmas volunteer abroad.
This might sound like you’re just hopping off to another house to be on your own but think of Cameron Diaz and/or Kate Winslet in The Holiday and look how it things fared for them! Anyway, if you fancy a bit of a change of scenery this Christmas then house sitting could be the ideal alternative. House Sitter’s UK allow you to look after someone else’s house over the festive period and it’s pretty simple to navigate. Simply have a browse and select a house that suits. All that’s left then is getting in touch with the owner – hopefully it happens as fact as the organisation on The Holiday, eh?! You become a house sitter here
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Dine Out for HUMEN #TableTalk campaign is an incentive that has us nodding in complete favour. The movement is paving the way for helping with mental health issues in men, changing the face of what it means to be a man by eradicating slogans like “boy’s don’t cry,” “be a man,” and “man up.” Research published by the group has declared: 1 in 4 people experience a mental health issue, 75% of all UK suicides are male and 95% of the prison population are filled with men, making this a wholly relevant study. If you’re alone this Christmas, HUMEN is a great place to turn. They are sparking a national conversation over the table conquering aspects like anxiety and depression and more. Men can go along and hear others talk about about relevant topics, but there’s no pressure put on anyone to speak aloud if, on that occasion, they don’t feel like doing so. Thus far, participating restaurants include Laylow, Beluga, Beach Blanket Babylon and Mahdi with others set to join. The restaurants add a £1 donation to each bill to support the HUMEN cause.
Just because you’re spending Christmas time alone, it definitely doesn’t prohibit you from visiting all of the festive pop-ups across the city. From a beach club showing festive winter cinema classics, to cosy winter terraces, Hogwarts in the snow and gingerbread cities. London is ablaze with things to do this festive period, and who says solo is no-go?!
GoodGym seeks to help the community by combining running with being together with others also perhaps alone. The group has already accomplished over 55,000 good deeds since its launch in 2008 proving it’s a group that has your happiness as their primary focus. There are over 39 areas for you across the UK to join in at which means you have absolutely no excuse to run off that Christmas pudding. Thank us later!
Alternatively, here are a list of some of our favourite gym’s to pump iron in, in case you’re at a loss of where to work out. Or, if basic gymming isn’t for you, then take a look at our alternative fitness class suggestions.
Food, Glorious Food
Just because you’re spending Christmas alone, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a vast amount of food (and all the trimmings)! If you have friends who want to escape the raptures of their family and snoring aunts and uncles then why not lure them away to your abode with the promise of a festive feast. Or, alternatively, pig out solo and don’t feel guilty as there’s no-one judging! In the meantime, there are a huge array of restos you can get down to this Christmas to feast at. Find them here on our 81 restaurants that opened this year list.
Last, but by no means least, Christmas telly is a fail proof way to pass the days when it comes to Christmas. This year, there’s no shortage of hilarity and drama on the telly! From the much-anticipated Inbetweeners Tenth Birthday Party Special, to intrigue and Agatha Christie-esque adventures in the ABC Murders. And, as always, Netflix has you covered with its offerings of brand spanking new Christmas movies. Here’s our guide in full!