This post was first published in 2012 so a slight update.
I think that loneliness has almost become a ‘social stigma’ something best not discussed, it implies that one doesn’t have the capacity to make friends. Nonsense! Homeworking, no work, changing job, illness, divorce, death of a loved one, limited finances, reliance on social media, the empty nest syndrome and many more can play a part and research also indicates that many of us in the future will live alone.
So for my ‘tuppence worth’ as my old granny used to say:
- Have something special for the bath or shower, so you can take pleasure in the smell, warm water, feeling refreshed.
- Wash your hair, massage your scalp as you do so.
- On Christmas day put a few baubles in the window to cheer yourself along but also for people passing by.
- Plant some bulbs or a shrub in the garden, growing things is very therapeutic.
- Plan to wear something you like, a colour that renews the spirit.
- Buy enjoyable meals – or the ingredients for same, plan to prepare and eat them at intervals preferably near a window where you can watch the world go by. Scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast?
- Find CDs of your favourite music put them in a line ready to play.
- Get the ‘Radio Times’ and decide what would be good to watch – mark with a pen in advance rather than resorting to wall to wall TV. But if the latter option makes you feel you are in good company, go for it.
- Keep warm – if you are hard up, get yourself a soft throw to curl up in, the kind of hot water bottle that warms up in the microwave.
- Keep your Serotonin levels high, wrap up warm and go for a walk
- If you feel brave enough, have a coffee on your own or a glass of wine in a local pub. If you look around you may be surprised to find there are other people on their own doing the same.
- Get to the library before Christmas and choose a book you have enjoyed in the past or a book you would not usually read.
- Clear out a cupboard and feel virtuous.
- Fill a black bag full of things you don’t need for the charity shop in the New Year.
- Brainstorm – which means you draw a ring in the centre of a sheet of paper and draw lines coming out from it like a sun, on each line put all the positive things that happened from the last week.
- Buy some wool and needles, plan to knit a scarf in the day.
- Spend time doing your nails.
- Think of something you would like to learn, find a free lesson on youtube.
- Buy some gold stars and write down every single achievement this past year.
- Write a poem, a story, start a memoir.
- Feed the birds, stroke a cat or hug a teddy bear.
- Consider trying a new recipe for the evening meal, something you would not usually bother with – just for yourself. Lay the table, flowers, pour a glass of something nice, add some ice and slices of fruit. Appletise or if you are OK with alcohol, a glass of wine.
- Ring someone who may like to chat.
- Check your TV choices, or find a film on youtube.
- Wind down, with some more music, a warm night time drink.
- Congratulate yourself for being so resourceful.
- Christmas is a sad time for many people, it’s unreasonable to expect all and everyone to be jolly. Give yourself permission to meditate, have a nap, consider inviting someone over, just for a coffee or tea and cake in the afternoon.
- if you feel really energetic, donate some time to a Christmas appeal and find a group who need a hand.
Never forget the Samaritans are always on call