Tips for spending Christmas alone - and the numbers to call if you need to speak to someone

This Christmas will be very different to previous years, with many unable to spend it with their loved ones.

Spending Christmas alone can be tough, but there are lots of ways you can still make it a special day, even if you can't be with the ones you love in person.

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If you need urgent help now

If you have seriously harmed yourself and your life is in immediate danger, call 999 immediately for help, or go to your local A&E if you feel able.

If your life is not in immediate danger but you need urgent help, in England, you can call your local NHS urgent mental health helpline. Find your local helpline here.

If you can't get through, call 111 for help.

Remember that you will not be wasting anyone's time by getting help in a crisis - mental health is as important as physical health.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and need to talk, there is support available for you 24 hours a day. The Samaritans can be reached any time, anywhere in the UK at 116 123 or over email at [email protected] for completely free, non-judgemental help.

Alternatively, you can text "SHOUT" to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text "YM" if you're under 19.

If you are feeling lonely

Contacting your friends and family over a video or phone call can be a great way to alleviate feelings of loneliness. They may be having similar feelings.

If you can't or don't feel able to talk to your friends and family about loneliness, the British Red Cross has a special loneliness helpline which you can call for free at 0808 196 3651 every day from 10am to 6pm for free.

Tips for spending Christmas alone

Whether you find Christmas difficult anyway, or are struggling with the thought of a Christmas alone, there are several ways you can mitigate feelings of loneliness or sadness on the day.

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It may help to make a plan for the day in order to stop yourself feeling aimless or frustrated. This plan could include when you want to eat, what shows or films you want to watch, which family members or friends you'd like to call, and any traditions you'd like to preserve or part ways with.

It may help to stay away from social media or TV adverts which may make you feel upset about spending Christmas alone.

Looking after your wellbeing on the day is important, and this may look different for everyone.

Activities like walking, cooking a nice meal for yourself or having a long bath are all ways of looking after yourself and keeping busy.

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