Your lockdown wellbeing: Loneliness
Something that millions of us feel at some point in our lives is loneliness. Being unable to see friends or family, and the coronavirus pandemic putting a pause on general life hasn't helped these feelings.
The Mental Health Foundation completed a survey and found that almost one quarter (24%) of adults living under lockdown in the UK have felt loneliness, as well as 44% of young adults (18-24-year-olds) also feeling lonely during this time.
This is something that has more than doubled because of lockdown and whether it's short or long term it can have a huge effect on our mental health.
Ways to prevent loneliness
We are having to adapt to this new way of life, being told to stay inside if you are isolating or not being allowed to mix with other households because of lockdown is all very strange and not what we are used to.
We've had to come up with creative ways on how to connect and keep in touch with others, now more than ever it's important to keep a strong communication. Catching up over video calls, WhatsApp or just regular phone calls are great ways to do this. Keeping a routine is also important, if you tend to meet friends at the weekend do it over a zoom call instead, have dinner together or create a quiz to play to add a bit of fun.
Join a club, there will be lots of groups online whether it's yoga, a book club or online events going on at the university, get involved. It may seem daunting but everyone else is in the same boat and if it's not your cup of tea you don't have to join the next one, it's trial and error to find what you enjoy.
Helping others feeling lonely
Now is the time to reach out, especially to those who may live alone or not have any relatives near them. A phone call or message could make a huge difference by taking their mind off things, even if it's only for a couple of minutes. You could create group chats, one for all your friends and one for all your family so you can all keep in touch, this helps everyone stay in the loop with things that are happening in other peoples lives.
If you know someone who may struggle with technology now might be a good time to set them up with Skype, or Zoom so they are able to see some friendly faces again. If you're a wiz in the kitchen, why not make some baked goods and take them to a neighbour (socially distanced of course), this shows that people are thinking and care about them during this time.
You're not alone
The feeling of loneliness can creep up on anyone at any point, we will have feelings of being cut off from our loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic so it's important to keep those communication connections strong.
If you are feeling lonely;
- Try calling a friend or family member, a counsellor or a health professional to talk about your feelings
- Contact Samaritans who are available 24/7
- Take a break, go for a walk or a run, getting some fresh air can help
- Join a new group to meet new people
- The UWE Wellbeing service is available for your mental health and personal development needs.
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