It’ll be lonely this Christmas…

This Betwixmas feels so odd as we simply sit around and wait for the New Year to start! My husband is from a large family, so the season between Christmas and New Year’s is normally back to back parties and gatherings. But 2020, and all it’s drama, means that we’re finishing off the year with Tier 4 Restrictions as Covid has it’s final fling. No guests are allowed in our home, we can only meet one other person for exercise outdoors, and all non-essential shops are shut so we can’t even go to the Sales in person.

But despite Covid, this season is bringing it’s own rewards! 

The extra time and space means I’ve been able to phone friends and family and catch up with the things that really matter. Hurried texts have been replaced with proper conversations. Generic Christmas Greeting WhatsApp’s have been replaced with personal video calls.

There’s been tears of laughter as we play charades and managed to get in some awkward positions, and tears of sadness as we’ve talked about some of the more complicated things that are going on in our lives. Different people and different conversations, but in each we’ve shared things that really matter.

One of my favourite reads of the year has been Lost Connections by Johann Hari as he examines why so many people in are impacted with depression and anxiety.

Loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people, he said – it’s the sense that you’re not sharing anything that matters with anyone else.

Johann Hari – Lost Connections

He examines how the breakdown of our communities has impacted our mental health. There’s currently such a strong emphasis on the Individual and looking out for number one that we’re losing the benefits that come from looking out for each other.

Since reading Lost Connections, I’ve proactively looked at ways of reaching out to my friends and family. What can I do to support those I care about? How can I help someone else stop feeling isolated? And in return, who can I be honest with about the battles and issues I’m facing? “Together we’re stronger” has become my battle cry, as Covid has helped me realise I can’t do this all on my own – and nor can anyone else!

If loneliness is knocking this week, why not be the one who reaches out and phones a friend? Hear how their Christmas is going and listen to what really matters to them? Open up and be honest about the things that matter to you too. 

You’ll be amazed at how much good it does your soul! 

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