For some of us, the Christmas holidays reminds us of how alone we feel.

Having to ‘be merry’ can trigger feelings of isolation, disappointment and exclusion from all this holiday hype. It can be a time of stress and anxiety. Christmas can intensify feelings of sadness and grief – think about someone who may have recently lost a loved one. Add to this, financial pressures and/or increased family conflict and this could make for a very stressful time of the year.

Five ways to manage loneliness for those of us who are feeling a tad isolated.

1. Check out community events. Find out what’s happening locally, that you can be a part of. It’s amazing what a Google search can do for inspiration.

2. Volunteer. Perhaps your time or resources?

3. Reach out to friends. Someone else could just be waiting for an invite.

4. Bake and share it. It’s amazing how seemingly shy individuals will flock to a plate of muffins. A delicious treat may even have the power to change the dynamic of a workplace.

5. Find an outlet and extend an invite. Never underestimate the power of a thoughtful invitation.