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Why you don’t have to be lonely during the holiday season

Evening Christmas lights - loneliness during holiday season

‘Tis the season to be … jolly?

This time of year is most often associated with festivities, happiness and fun, but the truth is that many people find themselves extremely lonely during the holiday season.

For anyone grieving over the loss of a loved one, or simply finding themselves on their own when they don’t want to be, this time of year can be particularly painful. And the unfortunate reality is that this becomes more and more true — for all of us — as we age.

People over 50 are more likely to report feeling lonely than their younger counterparts, and this steadily increases as we age: by the time we reach 80 almost half of us will say we’re lonely. This is even more true of men than women, with half of all men saying the same thing by the time they are 50 or older.

This isn’t a total surprise: the more we live, the more opportunities that fate has to throws things our way that impact our social connections. We lose partners, we relocate, our friends get sick, it happens to everyone eventually.

But for many people it’s this time of year that reminds them most that they are on their own.

It doesn’t need to be that way

I’d be the first person to admit that there is no way to replace someone you’ve lost: grief is something that never goes away, it’s just something we get better at dealing with over time.

But I strongly believe is that the best way to start this healing process is to get out there and embrace life, be with people, do things, and stay active.

And that means finding things to do with other people during the holiday season.

What Stitch members are doing

One of the most inspiring things about the Stitch community is how many members have gone through loss of their own, and have turned that experience into a desire not only to ensure their own lives continue to be rich and full, but that other people’s lives are too.

That’s why it’s so awesome to see some of the events and activities being organized by Stitch members for other members in communities around the world over this holiday period. Below are just a few of the activities being planned.

If you are a Stitch member living in one of those cities, then make sure you come along! Being with company is always better than being on your own — particularly when you’re in the company of Stitch members who are the next best thing to family.

Even more importantly, if you live somewhere else, why don’t you just suggest something yourself? All it takes is one person to make a suggestion and others will follow … and remember, you’re not just doing it for yourself, you’re doing it so that you can give the gift of good company to other members too.

If you need any inspiration, just check out some of the great examples below. I’ve tried to include a selection which shows a Stitch activity can be as big (70 people) or as small (2 people) as you want, it’s really up to you!

Third Thursdays in Yerba Buena

Where: San Francisco, California
When: Thursday December 15th
Organized by: Margarite Amy
4 people attending

Pre-Christmas Drinks and Dinner

Where: Sydney, Australia
When: Friday 16th Devember
Organized by: Stitch member Colleen
21 members attending

Happy Hour at Bar Louie and Celebrate the Holidays

Where: Geneva, Illinois
When: Friday December 16th
Organized by: Kathy
2 people attending

ICU and Others Christmas Party

Where: Palmdale, California
When: Saturday 17th December
Organized by: Janelle
2 people attending

Sydney Stitch Christmas Party

Where: Sydney, Australia
When: 22nd December
Organized by: Vivien
70 members attending

A Mellow Christmas Dinner

Where: Freshwater, Australia
When: 25th December
Organized by: Tom
4 people attending

Christmas Dinner

Where: Mableton, Georgia
When: Sunday 25th December
Organized by: Beth
2 people attending

Comedy: Paula Poundstone at the Norse

Where: San Francisco, California
When: Saturday December 31st
Organized by: Miriam
2 people attending

Italian Dinner Cooking Class

Where: Sarasota, Florida
When: January 6th
Organized by: Sharon
2 people attending

 

So what are you waiting for? Start suggesting something today!

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