Loneliness Hits UK During Festive Season

4 December 2023

Christmas time is meant to be one of the most special times of the year for families, spending time with one another, enjoying the festive period, eating good food and opening presents. It is one of the most social times of all seasons where everyone spends time with one another and enjoys each other’s company. But for some, this is just simply not the case.


A staggering 3.3 million people have said to feel their loneliest over the winter season.


Whether it is someone whose loved ones are sadly no longer here, don’t have any close family or friends around to enjoy Christmas with or those who spend Christmas alone on the streets homelessly. It is sad to think that there are people out there that are not able to enjoy the joys of Christmas, simply because they do not have anyone to spend it with and only have themselves. With the lows in temperatures as well, the homeless feel it exceptionally, not being able to afford the basic necessities to survive and trying to keep warm over winter, it’s sad to think that they are spending this special time outside alone.


The results of a 2018 survey looking at loneliness during Christmas time in the UK revealed that 17% of people felt more lonely over the festive period.


This can also impact a person’s mental health, with highs of depression, feeling inadequate, anxiety and those who suffer with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Mix that with cost of living crisis, an intake of more alcohol, less sleep, the effects of the cold, dwindling finances, this can all add to the stress of the Christmas and can make someone feel lonelier than they ever have done.


Around 45% of adults in England say they have feelings of loneliness – whether occasionally, sometimes or often.


But there are ways we as a country can help stop feeling people so lonely and there are a lot of different charities that receive donations that go towards support groups, meetings and creating different events, so it helps those in need. It could be a soup kitchen for the homeless, so they receive a hot meal and a drink. A Christmas event that invites those who would otherwise spend Christmas by themselves to come together to enjoy a nice hot Christmas dinner and many more! A lot more is being done now more than ever to try eliminate the lonely feelings of Christmas and winter.


If you are struggling with Loneliness – the MIND charity have a plethora of ways you could use to help you cope over the festive period – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/christmas-coping-tips/


No one should feel lonely over Christmas and there is always someone to talk to if you need an ear. Use the resources that are available, someone will be able to listen to what is troubling you. A problem shared is a problem halved. 


Call Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone). Their English language line is always open. They have a Welsh language line too, which is open daily from 7pm to 11pm.


Text SHOUT to 85258. This is a free 24/7 crisis text service run by Shout.