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How to avoid loneliness and secret eating this Christmas

December 9, 2013 - Psychology

Depressed Overweight WomanChristmas can be a lonely time for some of us. A recent survey by LighterLife found that 4 in 5 of us eat most when we’re alone at home, which can really affect your weight loss goals. If you’re by yourself, here are some tips to stop feeling isolated and reaching for the biscuit tin.

Get creative
Much like a smoker trying to avoid cigarettes, if you’re addicted to food it can help to keep your hands busy. Getting stuck into a craft project is a great way to take your mind off things, so why not plan ahead and get all your craft materials in advance so that you can make the most of the holidays? If you need some inspiration, we love the Martha Stewart YouTube channel, which houses tons of crafty videos to get your creative juices flowing.

Give back
A great way to feel good at Christmas is to do something to benefit people less fortunate than yourself. Organisations such as Shelter, the homeless charity (among many others) are desperate for people to lend a helping hand over the festive season, but they do need to plan ahead. If you’re thinking of volunteering at Christmas, now’s the time to find out what opportunities are available near you. Visit timebank.org.uk for details of charities looking for volunteers.

Learn a new skill
If you’ve got some free time this festive season, why not use the opportunity to master something new? You could try learning a language, taking up an instrument, or mastering a new exercise discipline. You can find how to videos for most things on YouTube. We love this how to yoga channel for beginners on YouTube, Ekhart Yoga.

Indulge in some festive cheer
Is there anything better than music to lift your spirits and awaken your senses? Christmas is a great time of year for getting out and seeing some live music – there are free carol concerts all over the country this year. We especially love seeing the traditional Salvation Army bands – you can find out where they’ll be in your area by checking out their website. If you’re on Twitter, you could also follow them and find out there.

Talk to someone
If you’re feeling depressed or lonely, it’s best not to let it fester. Talking to someone about how you feel can really help. If there’s no one nearby that you can confide in, there are lot of organisations who can help. The Samaritans are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can talk to them any time, in your own way and off the record about whatever’s getting to you. Call them on 08457 90 90 90 (If you’re in Ireland it’s 1850 60 90 90). If you’re over 65, you could call the Silver Line, a new confidential helpline where you can call and talk to someone about your situation. Reach them on 0800 4 70 80 90.

Whatever you’re doing this Christmas, enjoy it, be kind to yourself, and remember that it’s just one day of the year. Soon the New Year will start, and with it comes the opportunity to change things for the better.