New data from the Red Cross showed that people are feeling more alone coming up to the second Christmas under the looming banner of COVID-19.
The annual survey from the Red Cross showed that 18-29 year olds were increasingly struggling with feeling isolated or alone over the Christmas period, and that a staggering 40 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men surveyed confirming that they felt lonely.
The numbers are an increase from previous years, which is attributed to the presence of COVID-19. One in three people said they were less excited for the festive season than in previous years, and almost two thirds of people were concerned about vulnerable family and friends being lonely if travel restrictions were in place.
"It's not surprising that people are feeling they have lost connections, are experiencing loneliness and are a little hesitant about the festive season," said the Red Cross Director of Volunteering, Penny Harrison.
"It's also apparent that younger people are worried about possible border closures keeping them from family and friends."
Just over half of those surveyed agreed that COVID-19 had changed their relationships and the way they see the world, and many reported hesitance around returning to normal.
For those who are feeling lonely, the team at Griffith headspace had some advice to try and ease some of the burden.
"Be kind to yourself by allowing yourself to recognise that it may feel like a challenging day, but you're not alone in your feelings," said Sharron Dean, the manager at Griffith headspace.
"Beyond that, there's a few things you can do. If you know someone else who is lonely, invite them to share the day with you. Do a random act of kindness for someone else, reflect on the difference you made to them ... Enjoy some quality time with your pets," she added.
She said that Christmas itself can be difficult since there's often little open to kill some time. She suggested keeping an eye out for community events, such as the community Christmas lunch being organised by LifeSource Church.
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