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Alternatives to Christmas alone

13 Dec

Facing Christmas alone? Here is a list of alternative things you can do this Christmas to make it one to remember.

Friends sitting on the sofa next to a Christmas tree

If this is your first Christmas after separating it is most likely not one you are looking forward to, especially if you are going to be without your children. The best advice I can give you is to plan your time with your children as much as when you are without them. This way you can  prepare  emotionally and mentally to give yourself the best chance of enjoying rather than enduring this Christmas.

Here are some ideas of what you can do when not with your children:

Connect with your neighbours. Since the pandemic, there are more people who feel like they are  on their own and isolated than ever before. Initiatives such as North London Cares, South London Cares and Manchester Cares, provide a friendship matching scheme called 'Love Thy Neighbour' with people aged 65 and over to promote spending time together.

House sit. Have you seen the film The Holiday? I can’t promise you are going to meet the man or woman of your dreams, but having a change of scenery can really help with getting away from the ghosts of Christmas past – providing  you with a different perspective and time away.

Spend it with friends. Christmas doesn’t have to just be about family – spend it with friends instead. After all, our friends can be the family we choose.

Treat yourself. Put a present under the tree for you this year – something you really want. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that will make you smile. You deserve it.

Christmas day swim. Open water swimming is becoming more popular and if you live near an outdoor lake such as The Serpentine or near  the coast, you may want to join a Christmas Day swim. Even if you don’t want to take a dip, there is a huge sense of camaraderie amongst participants.

Go for a walk. I can not stress enough the benefits of walking in nature. It helps you mentally, emotionally and improves your physical wellbeing.

Volunteer. Helping those less fortunate than you is hugely rewarding and will often put things into perspective.. There are so many organisations you could help - Shelter’s, Foodbanks, refugee initiatives,  delivering Christmas baskets to name a few.

Make cocktails for the elderly. Based in London, Magic Me is an arts charity that brings generations together to build stronger communities. One of their initiatives invites volunteers to head to a local care home and whip up some cocktails for the elderly, before sitting down for a good chinwag

Get cooking. Food cycle is another great initiative that aims to cook up tasty meals for people in need of a hot dinner and friendship – they do this by providing three-course meals in reusable containers to homes of those who need them most. They have projects across the country from Bath to Birmingham.

However you choose to spend Christmas don't spend it alone, and if you are struggling reach out for help.

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