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CALM launch #YuleSlog to combat loneliness this Christmas

One of the main causes of stress and discomfort at this time of year is around the pressure to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas. CALM & Twitter want to get people talking about the realities that surround the festive season.

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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It’s difficult to look past the images of idyllic festive set-ups littering our social media feeds at this time of year. Enormous, beautifully adorned Christmas trees; roaring fires and matching pyjamas; and huge groups of smiling people cheersing their glasses in the pub just down the road from you.

Off the back of a Twitter poll conducted with Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a charity leading a movement against suicide, nearly half of users polled (41%) revealed they experience feelings of loneliness around Christmas, with even more feeling left out of bigger social events (46%). 

But one of the main causes of stress and discomfort at this time of year is around the pressure to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas. With nearly half (49%) of Twitter users saying they felt pressured to have fun during the festive period, leading to enhanced feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

To counter this, CALM, working with Twitter and a host of celebrities, are encouraging social media users to share “the good, the bad and the ugly of Christmas,” using the hashtag #YuleSlog. What the organisation wants to demonstrate is that “there’s no such thing as the ‘perfect’ Christmas.”

41%
experience feelings of loneliness around Christmas
46%
feel left out of bigger social events
49%
feel pressured to have fun during the festive period

CALM’s hope is that the hashtag will create a space for open, honest conversations about the reality of Christmas; how for some it can be far from perfect, and more about isolation than togetherness. From the big to the small, no Christmas-related problem should go unshared, whether that’s your own struggles with grief, finances or the pressure of an over-stuffed social calendar.

Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM explains, “Spreading a message of reality and positivity can be empowering for those struggling through this period and with this partnership we aim to celebrate the power of connection and communication.”

As part of the campaign, CALM have created NOEL, a character whose tips are designed to help those struggling at this time of year. N stands for saying no if you need to, whether that’s about buying presents you can’t afford or a night out you don’t feel like; O encourages people to open up; E wants people to enjoy what they can and take pleasure in the small things; and L is a final note of optimism, inviting people to look forward. Christmas is just one day; plan ahead and give yourself things to look forward to in January.

CALM’s anonymous and free helpline and webchat are open 5pm-midnight 365 days a year, including every day across Christmas. Visit CALM’s website for more information.