This year is undoubtedly a strange one, but the only thing we can do to keep positive and help life stay on the up is to keep sociable, and not let loneliness take it's toll. This time of year can be really hard on so many people anyway, so it's even more important to make sure we, those we love, or even total strangers aren't left alone or at least feeling it. An actual human connection can mean so much, we are all struggling to some extent at the moment and even something as simple as a letter could make a huge difference to a person's Christmas.
I thought I'd share some tips on how we can all stay sociable this holiday season, whether it's by keeping in touch with friends and family, helping other people feel less lonely or even meeting someone new...
I would always suggest starting by making a list (gotta love a list) of everyone that you need to drop a line to, to make sure everyone knows they are being thought of while we're in the midst of this at a special time and nobody is forgotten. Older relatives that can't be visited would love a phone call, a hand written letter, some family photos or maybe a small gift too. Even on the tightest of budgets, a quick call, letter or email could make a priceless difference to someone's happiness!
Staying sociable at Christmas doesn't have to mean just seeing friends, there's nothing to stop you still meeting new people even if just at a distance or virtually. It may not be any kind of normal this December, but it's also a great opportunity to jump into something new, make new friends and maybe even meet someone special. If you're in the market for dating, then it doesn't have to stop, no matter what tier we're in or what restrictions are in place. Possibly one of the greatest things about modern tech and social media is that it gives us the freedom to connect from anywhere at any time. Wherever you are, let's say Wiltshire for example, then there's no doubt a great Wiltshire dating site or similar to help you meet locals from your neck of the woods. Although our usual date haunts may be closed or overly strict at the moment, it's a good time to think outside the box date wise and maybe stay fully digital with a virtual date until it's a bit safer, or simply talk on the phone once you have a good match and feel ready to do so. Loads of sites have special things in place to make breaking the ice easier right now as well as safe video chat set ups and icons to suggest you will only meet up with a mask etc. So why not give some local, maybe Wiltshire dating a go! Let's not let this virus take away all our fun.
Read up on the latest guidelines so you're up to date, but right now they are saying we can make a Christmas bubble over the Christmas period, but it's totally up to us all to decide what's best for us and our relatives. For many of us, we have older relatives that have been shielding for months now, so it makes little sense to risk passing something on for the sake of one day. With this in mind, stay in touch on Christmas day by setting up video calls with relatives you can't be with instead, or set up a family group chat that you can update through the day with photos and messages. It's hard to imagine Christmas being quiet and lonely while we have kids at home, but for many it's going to be so quiet this year which may not be nice for some. There are plenty of things you can do by video though so as well as calls, why not incorporate games, gift opening, maybe a family talent show or quiz even. You don't always have to be there in person to show you care, but I think this year we all need to just go that extra mile to make sure nobody feels lonely, including ourselves!
If you're feeling it this year and crave a little social interaction, be sure to reach out and ask people. It's such a busy time of year that people may not even stop to think about everyone and how they might be feeling, so it's up to us to get stuck in to and arrange for a walk somewhere, a chat at Christmas or even just reaching out first with a greetings card. You may want to also look locally to see what safe events or groups are set up to help people meet and chat at the moment, as there are lots of people in the same boat and plenty of people that want to help.
With pubs closed and all the other things going on right now, meeting up with friends is not as straightforward as it should be, and for many, missing a Christmas eve night in the pub (best night of the year!) it's going to really affect our mood and ultimately our well being. It's important we still see our friends, so if getting merry and partying is usually your bag, it might have to be a Zoom p*ss up this year! This could still be lots of fun and although it's weird, it's weird for everyone and it just is what it is right now! So get glammed up or stick on your PJs, stock up on your favourite tipple and get the gang back together.
When it comes to strangers, it's not something we'd normally consider when thinking about being sociable, but quite often, somebody we don't know that's homeless, on the bread line or alone for any variety of reasons, may just find a little token gesture or act of kindness pretty lifesaving at a time that's hard for many. There are lots of ways to make someone happy that you don't know, but some examples are; giving food or warm clothing to the homeless, taking food to a food bank, volunteering with a homeless charity, sending cards to neighbours you don't know or treats to elderly people that may be spending Christmas alone.