The holiday season can feel isolating, even when surrounded by family and friends. This year, as the toll of the pandemic is becoming clearer, we face a profound sense of loss– of routine, ritual, and loved ones– as well as grief both individually and collectively. The way through is with the recognition of these difficult feelings. Authentic connection with yourself and others helps pave the path.
Engaging in the arts can help to support mental and physical health, and this year, we invite you to tap into your creativity as a way to connect with yourself and others. On this page, you’ll find inspiration: creative activities that you can try on your own or send to someone else who you’re thinking about this season, and films from our UnLonely Film Festival to watch, discuss, and share.
On December 6th, we hosted Make The Holidays UnLonely: Sharing Our Gifts! If you weren’t able to attend, or want to watch the event again, check out the recording below!
Panelists Captain Moira McGuire (Former Chief of the Arts in Health Program, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center), Paolo Narciso (VP of New Program Development and Program Optimization, AARP Foundation), and Mark Meridy, MPA (Executive Director, DOROT) shared their insights around holiday loneliness and the how creativity and art-making can connect us.
Make The New Year UnLonely!
At The Foundation for Art & Healing, we believe that the simple act of making, sharing, or receiving something creative benefits both mental and physical health. There’s a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests that creative arts expression is a powerful tool in reducing emotional isolation for everyone involved, and there are so many easy ways to engage with the arts. Use this checklist to jumpstart a new season of creative connection: Reflect on your year and get inspired for 2023!
Film can be a powerful tool to understand our emotions, learn about important issues, and connect with others. Our UnLonely Film Festival is a collection of short films that explore loneliness and connection through a variety of perspectives. Here, we’ve hand-picked three films for you to watch, share, and enjoy! Join a community discussion in the comment section, below.
A late-night encounter on a New York City street leads to a profound connection between a teen-in-need and a DeafBlind man.
After spending 13 years imprisoned, Maryam Henderson-Uloho has now dedicated her life to helping other women.
This film is a gift to a grieving father, and a message to all to cherish every second you have with the ones you love.
Portrait of a man who turned his small Northern California home into a beautiful, towering Christmas display people travel across the country to see.
These partners are working to make the Holidays UnLonely!
If you want to learn more about how you can help combat the loneliness epidemic, or find more resources for connection, check out the amazing work being done by some of the organizations we partner with:
Explore Our Programs
Read about our evidence-based programs that support this initiative by building community health and well-being among college students.
Support Our Work
Join us and our current sponsors to help expand this important work and increase the impact we are able to deliver across communities.
Join The Discussion
What about these films did you find interesting, timely, or compelling? Was there anything in the films that you related to personally? Anything that inspired you? Share your thoughts on what you watched and how it made you feel, here!