Tis the season to be lonelier than any other time of the year – especially if you are over 60 and single
In light of this weeks news about older people and loneliness in the UK and the launch of ITV’s One Million Minutes I have sent this blog out to all my singles in their 50s, 60s and 70s.
It is a well-known fact that older people living alone form the most vulnerable group of people to feel lonely, to the extent that they feel anxious and depressed. This has an extensive impact on their well-being and the quality of their lives.
Most won’t admit to feelings of loneliness simply because acknowledging it makes them feel vulnerable and that they are failures.
AGE UK has reported that 1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely, and if we don’t tackle loneliness by 2026, there will be 2 million people over 50 in England who will often feel lonely.
The findings also show that the risk of being often lonely is dramatically higher among those people who are widowed or who do not have someone to talk to openly and honestly without feeling judged.
When you mention to people that you will be alone at Christmas or most of the time outside of the season, they say it must be awful to be lonely, and they can relate to that at times – NO – loneliness is a complex human emotion unique to each of us!
Facing Christmas Solo –
For those of you who are busy getting ready to spend the season meeting friends, going for drinks, dinner, and social gatherings and then on the big day itself, spending it with family or friends, celebrating – it all sounds like a very enjoyable time of year, but;
For those of you who are alone and maybe not relishing the prospect of all the seasonal music on the radio, adverts on the television, and waking up on Christmas Day with the prospect of spending this what seems like the longest day alone – then please do not let this thought have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
It is only ONE day – let’s focus on the positives.
You get to escape the smothering requirements of seasonal cheer You can watch what you want when you want You escape family dramas or friends getting drunk and engaging in awkward debates You can cook what pleases you OR order in!
Don’t leave the day to chance – plan ….. Spoil Yourself Plan your day around a list of fun things you would like to do! Wake up and do something different from your daily routine and something indulgent. Treat yourself – buy a lovely gift for yourself – ready to open. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive but something you have wanted. Wrap up and go for a walk; say hello to some people along the way, and you will be surprised to meet other people also spending the day alone. After your walk, have a yummy breakfast. Indulge in smoked salmon and maybe a glass of bubbly. Something different from your regular porridge, toast or cup of tea. Telephone or facetime a friend or family member and have a chat. Put on something comfortable, grab a novel you have meant to read for some time and indulge in a few chapters, maybe with a glass of wine, real ale, whiskey or Baileys! Cook a decadent recipe you’ve wanted to try. Best accompanied by your favourite radio station or podcast and a glass of the tipple of your choice. Line up a festive movie or indulge in some retro box sets to make you laugh out loud. The theme – is to spoil yourself, and it is only for one day; before you know it, it’s boxing day and all the hype is over.
Remember the good things that we have in our lives, starting with our health.
Are you worried about being alone on Christmas Day?
Sarah Millican’s #JoinIn
There is space for everyone in this worldwide conversation.
Church of England – ‘carols & chat’ event (even if you are not religious but still fancy a sing-song and a chance to talk to others via the YouTube chat feature)
Christmas Day at 3:30 pm cofe.io/youTube
Mind – Side by Side Community – available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (provides a safe place for you to speak openly about your experiences or support others going through a difficult time.
Campaign against living miserably
I would like to take this opportunity for anyone who is all alone on Christmas Day and would like to join me at 1 pm for a 1 hour zoom social and chat. You must turn up with a glass of something to toast the day (it can also be tea or hot chocolate, but I will have a glass of bubbly). I have my children with me and feel very blessed, but they wont even miss me for an hour (unless the dinner is late).I wish you all a peaceful, content and reflective run-up to Christmas. Take this time to think briefly about past times and plan how 2023 will be the year that you decide to get on with your life instead of dwelling on all the things that could have been.
Make some positive, little changes to your day and see how these can possibly change your life – slowly but surely.
2023 is your year to give yourself a jumpstart.
Jacqui (58) is warm and personable, with a lovely Northern Irish accent (living in Hampshire). She is experienced and confident in speaking to the media, whether for print, TV or radio. She is available as an expert for planned features. She has appeared on relationship and dating podcasts, local radio (BBC), and written articles for local and national Newspapers, Magazines, and websites to discuss any trending topics or points of discussion relating to this demographic.
She is now the go-to mid-life/later-in-life recovery & relationship expert, and being single herself, she relates to her demographic. They respect her for her openness about different subjects that they often ponder or worry about but would never ask the question.
Jacqui is warm, funny and knowledgeable in her approach to all things being single later in life, recovering from bereavement or divorce after 20/30/40 years with one person/dating expectations/dating and finally, how to keep a relationship going with a new partner.
Written by: Jacqui Baker
PS – I have volunteered 60 minutes per month for 6 months. It’s only a small amount but we can all do our bit and we can all feel lonely at times. Connecting with others is good for our mental health…Mandy x