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How to avoid holiday loneliness: Doctor's coping strategies, resources to reach out

Holidays can trigger loneliness at any age
Holidays can trigger loneliness at any age 05:57

NEW YORK -- The holidays are a joyful time for many people, but the festivities can trigger loneliness. 

There's evidence being lonely can literately shorten your life, and these feeling can be experienced at any age. 

Research finds more than half of people over 80 surveyed admit feeling alone, and 71% of adolescents and young adults also have similar thoughts. 

Doctor's advice

We spoke with Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Dean Dr. Linda Fried for some strategies to cope. 

Dr. Fried explained how loneliness impacts our physical and mental health, and why the holidays are such a vulnerable time. 

She offered these suggestions: 

  • Make a resolution to volunteer
  • Connect with others and open your door to those who will also be alone
  • Get a pet
  • Go into the office
  • Be good to yourself

Finally, she told us about the warning signs when it's time for people to reach out for professional help. 

Here to help

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