Loneliness at Christmas


Christmas is a time to share gifts, warmth, and hugs. Unfortunately, that is never the case with everyone; In fact, the lonely get lonelier during this time.

For those struggling to fit in, Christmas is a time when those few people you had in your circle go off to be with their families. It is typical for many people to experience loneliness and isolation when the jingle bells and mistletoes are in the air.   

Why lonely when others make merry?   

You could blame it on the media - there is that perfect Christmas image that we have been made to believe in since we were kids. You have seen it on TV, in the press and social media; the family who get along ,having a great time, the dinner parties, the gifts and smiles. All that could make you feel inadequate.   

It could also be that your family doesn’t get along perfectly when Facebook and Instagram speak otherwise about your colleagues and friends. On the other hand, other lonely people on Christmas don’t have a family to go home to, as in the case of expatriates far from home.    The well-worn phrase that says the money is the root of all evil applies in this case too; without enough money to travel home to be with your family, you will likely spend your Christmas wallowing in loneliness.    

Overcoming loneliness is necessary    

Loneliness takes a toll on mental health and emotional strength. A lonely person is continuously sad and feels empty. They gradually sink into depression and start feeling worthless. The sufferers feel isolated, neglected and deprived.   

The festive season might open the Pandora’s Box of loneliness and inadequacies but without care all that could spiral into a mental health crisis. It so often happens that lonely people befriend the bottle, casual sex or white powder, just anything to make them forget that they are alone.   

According to data from the CDC, men are 4 percent more likely to commit suicide than women. It is probably because women are naturally better at making new connections. Suicide is a high risk for divorced and widowed men, and Christmas is the hot corner down the road.   

The knock effect of loneliness on work    

Even long after the season, the adverse impact that Christmas loneliness had on the mind of workers can be damning at work. Employers would have to deal with an employee(s) who has lost focus or struggling with addiction and low self-esteem.   

What employers can do    

Christmas bonus: Financial stress could be the primary cause of anxiety and loneliness. A Christmas bonus can go a long way to help employees travel and be with family and afford to facilitate all other social functions in the festive period.

A survey done by Harris Interactive shows that 73 % of all employees prefer a Christmas bonus to a party.    

Christmas cards: A Christmas card might sound like a small thing, but employees far away from home would surely appreciate it. Some of your workers might have been secluded by family due to their beliefs or sexual orientations or just a silly row. A card can help to cheer them up.   

Reach out on the phone: It could be a simple text message or a phone call. A friendly conversation can help to lift the spirits of an employee who lacks human contact.   

Loneliness during Christmas is a common occurrence due to various reasons - top among them alienation from family, financial stress and loss of family members. It often leads to a downturn in mental health, causing anxiety and depression that can affect performance at work long after Christmas is done and dusted. Employers can take steps to be there for their workers by putting the right measures in place early enough.

Look after yourselves and others this Christmas.

Mayfair, we care