25% of adults in the UK experience loneliness during the festive season

According to the latest research commissioned by Skipton Building Society, 3 in 10 adults in the UK feel their mental health takes a complete “nosedive” during the festive season.

Related topics:  Loneliness,  mental health
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
27th December 2023
christmas charity
"While we’re all hoping this year we can spend more time over Christmas in the company of loved ones than we did last year, that needn’t come at such a cost to our mental wellbeing."
- Stacey Stothard, spokeswoman at Skipton Building Society

Of those surveyed (2,000), a third said living with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) makes the festive season noticeably demanding compared to the summer months, with 31% already struggling from sleepless nights, 13% experiencing headaches, and 20% noticing a spike in irritability.

15% of adults in the UK feel overwhelmed, while 12% are experiencing anxiety. When asked why the winter months were the most stressful, 25% admitted to feeling lonelier with 22% having no friends and/or family to celebrate with.

Skipton found both generational and gender disparities while surveying coping techniques during the festive season. 76% of those aged 18 to 24 years old found the period stressful, while only 40% of those under the age of 24 said they have no one they feel comfortable talking to about their mental health. Meanwhile, women are more likely to struggle during the festivities, with 60% of women refusing to accept they’re struggling.

Given the majority of support groups are temporarily paused during the festive break, RedArc has echoed the concerns raised in Skipton’s research, urging employers, insurers, and other organisations that provide mental health support, to be clear about what services are available. RedArc also highlighted the importance of signposting to local or national charities, reading materials, and complementary therapies or specialist bereavement counselling.

Christine Husbands, Commercial Director at RedArc, said “we often need to reassure people that they shouldn’t be pressurised into doing anything by well-meaning family and friends and should only do as much or as little as they want to do.”

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