For some, this time of year is the time to be jolly and excited about gifts they will receive or buy, and seeing friends and family they haven’t seen for a long time.
Then there are others who will be on their own at Christmas. The percentage of the elderly who feel lonely has increased this year, and I find it so sad, but at the same time I do identify with those feelings.
There have been times when I have felt alone, I was never a girl who had loads of boyfriends, and my friends once they began to see boys, often created a new circle so the circle I had with them, started to fade too.
When talking to one of my friends, even when she had a boyfriend she still often felt lonely.
If you look up the word Lonely on the internet you’ll see the definition on Google browser to mean,
“sad because one has no friends or company”,
but even when we have company if we feel unattached to the people around us, we can feel lonely too.
So I feel the word “Lonely” to be sometimes defined incorrectly.
I see it as someone who feels unattached from the world and the people around them.
Listening to a phone in on the ITV 1 program This Morning, a lady called up saying how Lonely she felt, she felt she had no one. She had tried going to a local club, but still she was one her own.
Feeling like we have no one can send us to the rock bottom and that can lead to depression, falling down a steep hole as I have often seen it, and it is a battle to try and get out of the hole, dropping deeper and deeper.
What I would say is, write a list of the people who you do know, or have known. I often find that writing about my feelings as I have written in many of my blogs, to be so useful and I would always recommend keeping a journal.
I have kept a journal all the time, and have done so from a young age, maybe not continuously filling it in everyday, but have always had one there so when I need to, I know it is there for me to share my thoughts and fears. I have different ones, my everyday bullet journal which is a quick note down of my day and what is coming up, a one where I share all happy thoughts and memories and another for all my personal fears and feelings.
A Self Help book I would recommend is a book called “Mindfulness on the go” written by Padraig O’Morain, a bit of peace in your pocket.
This will help re-attach you to the world. Be with the world around you, look at the buildings, the roads, people, cars going by, nature and will help you have peace with yourself.
Before you can attach yourself back to the world, you have to build the confidence within yourself.
How are you supposed to be happy with the world and make friends, if you don’t make friends with yourself and be happy with yourself?
Take the pressure off, don’t push yourself to go to the local club you have checked out, until you are ready. Take gradual steps.
Mindfulness helps you to concentrate on your breathing whilst appreciating the things that are around you.
Walking through my local common for example and being mindful, has really helped me when I have felt low and helped to reattach myself, and see that there is a magnificent world out there.
Getting in touch with nature, visiting a local farm, a zoo, or just going for a quiet walk not particularly having a plan of where to go, but just getting to know the place you live again, and as you do so, if someone says good morning, afternoon or evening, say it back.
I have noticed since walking through my local common how often other people are a lot more friendlier, and appear to be happier, and there is at least one person who will greet me and notice me. There is something about nature that helps others relax and be approachable.
Go for a coffee and if someone smiles or you see someone looking for somewhere to sit and they to are on their own too, why not ask them to join you?
This is one of my husband and I’s regular ways we reattach having a coffee together, or spending sometime away from where we live, having a few drinks and a bite to eat. Being by the sea can really make a difference in your feelings. I always feel happy with my life and get to know people when I am in a peaceful surrounding.
It is the little things that create the big things in life, and sometimes as a couple it can be so easy with work and children to become unattached from each other, that you start to feel lonely. So having sometime just the two of you, can really make all the difference.
A good way to help loneliness is to take on a challenge. Back when I was living in the South Coast of England, there was a period where I would look in the mirror at myself and cry and I felt like my life wasn’t going anywhere.
It was in May 2005 when I knew I had to change things. I decided I was once and for all going to make fitness a part of my everyday lifestyle and set myself up on a challenge. The year 2008 I took on the Great North Run. Something I never thought I would ever do.
It was the biggest thing I had ever achieved in my life and it proved to myself that if I wanted to make a change in my life and create better things, I was capable of doing so. Taking on the Great North Run was what I needed to make me see what I could do when I put my mind to it. There were people who didn’t even know me, but took an interest and gave me a cheer on.
Open your eyes at the people next door or who have invited you out and you have turned them down. If you have kept saying no and they no longer ask you, that is because once people often hear the word “No” they will stop asking. You will be surprised that they will then miss your company too. So if you see them again, why not ask them if you can finally take them up on their offer and join them.
I have often felt lonely as a new mum, feeling isolated and I still do at times. I still even now that Henry is 3 years old, still feel at times that I am getting things wrong, but then I look at my boy, who is very healthy, very sociable, happy and loves to explore and I know I must be doing something good, right? It has made me more confident, it has helped me chat to other mums who are feeling the same and just having a chat to them can make all the difference to them too.
Motherhood is challenging and if you are a mum feeling lonely then remember the little creation you have bought into the world. Giving birth is a challenge in itself, so taking on other challenges that will give you a chance to meet other a people, like a charity walk or run, will really help you beat the loneliness.
Many thanks for reading,