December can be the hardest month for many. Especially for those missing a family member. Or for those who are just by themselves. Or those that feel excluded and not invited to holiday celebrations from family and friends alike.
Jason found an excellent article about What to do if you’re feeling lonely this Christmas over at Den of Geek. While some of the services are useful to everyone, many of them are in the UK. We felt this would be a great opportunity to create the American version here, with links to services here in the States.
But first, their great words of advice for getting through the season. Please feel free to use our comment section over the holidays for some comradery. We too, promise to patrol the comments to keep the trolls at bay.
There is plenty of conversation over at the original article, if it seems a bit empty here.
….From Den of Geek:
Firstly, we just wanted to have a quick word about loneliness, something that tends to become particularly – although not exclusively – pertinent at this time of the year. We don’t pretend to have anything even remotely close to a magic wand/weird sonic screwdriver to take it away, but hopefully we can try and help you find a smile if you’re feeling alone.
And as odd as this may sound, you’re not alone in being alone. That may not be much comfort, yet there are people out there struggling with the feeling of loneliness, and of not fitting in.
Please: if you can, talk to someone. Or post in the comments below, even if it’s just to say hello. Please know – as difficult as it may seem – that there are people out there who are on your side. Please try and take one small step forward, and we don’t pretend for a second that’s easy.
But still: just because the internet looks anonymous, if someone responds to your post, that’s a human being, not a computer. So talk about whatever you need to below. Again: we don’t have answers, but we will be doing our utmost to police comments below, so you can talk without fear that someone is going to come and troll your post.
If you’re feeling a little more than loneliness, and are facing the horrible disease of depression, or worse, then we’re also very much thinking of you. If anything, the above goes double for you, even though it must be excruciatingly tricky.
If you are having a particularly rough holiday, try to reach out to these organizations or plan do something this holiday to make days go a bit faster/better.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, aimed at young men feeling unhappy. It has a web chat service, and freephone phone lines for those in the UK. You can find its website here.You can use the chat service if you’re here in the states.
Samaritans. This is another fantastic organization out of the UK. They have phone services for those there, but for us, you can just send them an email, and be as anonymous as you need to be. Mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and someone will reply. Even if it’s just to say hello.
Furthermore, there IS a US version of Samaritans. However, it doesn’t look as comprehensive as the original UK version.
Post-Secret: If you have yet to discover Post Secret, it is a large art project unlike any before it. Anyone can mail in a post card with their secret. Some get posted. It is a great environment to realize no one is alone and we all are really different. Content on the website is not always safe for Work or Child environments, for it is all very raw.
In addition, Post-Secret has an online community or forum where you can discuss the postcards. This is perfect if you are looking to talk with someone, but have no idea what to talk about.
International Suicide Prevention Wiki: This is a large list of resources all over the United States of phone numbers depending on the needs of the caller. Some are geared toward LGBT issues, some for those who may not even speak English, or if you’re a Vet with PTSD. These people are here to help.
Google search for local large dinners that may be at a Church, Synagogue, or Community Center. Those looking for a meal just to be around people, can search “Christmas Dinner [your location]” to see if any public events are around. Most major Public Transportation systems run on a Holiday schedule on Christmas, so those even without a car, can travel short distances to a nearby location.
Help at a Soup Kitchen or Local Homeless Shelter: Be around others who need your help to make their Holiday better. In turn, your holiday gets better, too.
Get to know those you are helping. Ask questions like what food do they like or what is their favorite color? What is their favorite cartoon, or what is their favorite book or movie? Simple questions can open doors to conversations. If you can handle it, be a great listener this Holiday season.
Whether you cook your favorite food, get a special wine, or plan a special Skype or Google Hangout with the one friend you haven’t seen in a long time – make it different! Have something to look FORWARD to. Even if its as small as renting DVDs or online episodes of a TV show you grew up with.
Teens looking to deal with any problems over the holidays such as parents working, family member loss, or any other stressful situation can contact someone at Reach Out. They have a hotline to call and will give you a space to share your story and talk with others.
Google search for a Twitter Chat on your favorite topic. Twitter chats are when several people get on Twitter to talk about the same topic at a certain time, such as Foodie Fridays. Every Friday at the same time, people hop on Twitter to talk about new restaurants or food they have tried. If no Twitter chats are happening, look for someone talking about your favorite sports team, movie, book, or the city you live in by using the search box on Twitter. Join the conversation.
Most major Cinemas are actually open on Christmas Day. Many movies premiere on that day. If you’re looking to be around people and want to be entertained, going to the movies is a great way to celebrate the holiday.
Please check out the original article from Den of Geek and join in on the conversation on their comments section.