Tinsel and baubles herald that christmas will soon be upon us. While it’s a time of joy and festivities for some, for others it can be a time of loneliness and anxiety. This time of year brings with it high expectations of happy families and having a good time.

Our television screens constantly bombard us with fabulous images. However the reality is often not matched with the ideals portrayed. There are steps that you can take to help you to manage these feelings.

Firstly you need to recognise that you are experiencing loneliness and that you have it within you to make positive changes. Take comfort in the knowledge that there are others out there feeling just like you.

Think beyond the day, normal activity will resume on the 26th December. Look ahead and have a goal for the New Year.

Plan your day in advance. Establish manageable activities for the morning, afternoon and evening. These can be a new walking route, having a go at a practical activity e.g. art, craft, puzzles, cooking all of which can help to establish a sense of achievement within you.

If you feel you need a listening ear. Make use of the free helplines such as Samaritans, Childline and the new Silver Line for older people.

If your suffering is severe and you wish to know more about solving this problem, you can reach me directly at theanxietyexpert@gmail.com or visit www.theanxietyexpert.com for more information.