This time of year

I see the buzz in our street of houses being decorated with Christmas lights and decorations and children running around gleefully in their front yards of an evening, totally swept up in the excitement.

It is a time when people go outside and mingle with their neighbours and those passing by. It is a lovely time to interact with folks you otherwise don’t always get an opportunity to see. The air is warm, sprinklers are spilling upwards and there are sounds of laughter and chatter. What a fun time.

What aren’t seen though are the folks who are struggling with loneliness. They are confined through ill health, frailty, old age or social awkwardness and find it difficult or far too challenging to get out. This leads to a sense of isolation and the time when loneliness can creep in. Even people who are surrounded by others can feel very lonely; folks with mental illness or Autism/Asperger’s. They are not always able to integrate and therefore can feel quite lonely.

There are also folks who have family afar or have had a loved one pass away during the year. The longing and loneliness they feel thwarts their joy and excitement that the festive season usually brings. It is a time of mixed emotions and sometimes sadness rises to the top. Financial constraints can also hinder people’s joy over this period and once again, they retreat from socialising and before long, loneliness has knocked on their door too.

What can we do though? Well, glad you asked. We can keep a check on our neighbours and loved ones. We can take a few minutes out of our day to call in on them or give them a phone call. We can reach out and let our actions show them that they are not alone all of the time. We can reassure them that we are only too happy to call in on them or do an errand for them or just sit and contemplate the world with them. We can let them know that they matter. We can drop a little note in their letterbox letting them know you are thinking of them. We can pass on a book we have just finished. We can do any number of things that will let the person know that they are still connected to the world outside even if they are unable to get out and participate in it.

Out of kindness, out of goodwill, out of compassion and caring, please consider those in your communities who are living with loneliness and do a little something to brighten their day a bit. This for them can be the most challenging, difficult and loneliest times of the year. We never know if one day, we too may find ourselves in this very situation.

Take care and be kind x

Image credit: Couleur@pixabay

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