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‘Thank you for reminding me that I'm not alone.’

Christmas can be an exciting time, a chance for families and friends to come together and celebrate. While celebrations may look different this year, and festivities are more likely to be held on video calls than in person, it’s worth remembering that not everyone has a support network they can celebrate with, and those that do can still often feel isolated and alone.

Last December, we took more than 21,000 conversations with around 14,000 texters. Around 1 in 3 of those conversations mentioned feelings of depression and sadness, and almost 1 in 5 mentioned feelings of loneliness and isolation.

While we might associate loneliness with older people, we also see that around 30% of texters who contact us about loneliness are between 18 and 24 years-old.

If you feel lonely, you are not alone. In what has been an incredibly difficult year, for many people, living in lockdown will have exacerbated their loneliness too.

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Thank you for reminding me that I'm not alone

Here are some things you can do this festive season to help you feel less alone:

  • 1. Join an online community such as a book club or one around a topic that interests you

  • 2. Listen to a podcast or audiobook

  • 3. Watch your favourite festive films

  • 4. Try an online peer support group

  • 5. Get outside for a walk

  • 6. Think about volunteering to support others. You can find a lot of virtual volunteering opportunities online.

  • 7. Do something for someone else too. Do you have a neighbour that might need help with some shopping?

  • 8. Write your feelings down. It can be any way of writing that feels comfortable to you - a journal, a poem or simply listing your feelings on a piece of paper.

And remember, you can always text SHOUT to 85258 to speak to one of our trained, empathetic volunteers. They’re available 24/7 and it’s free, confidential and anonymous to contact us.

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Find out more about the issues you can text Shout about