National Loneliness Week 15 – 19th June
A blog by Carole O’Donnell – DCC – People
We all feel lonely at times – it’s a normal human emotion. We’re biologically wired for social contact and loneliness is our signal that we need more. More than ever before, in this period of lockdown and social distancing, we may be feeling lonely.
You may be in a household surrounded with people, a partner, children, but still feel lonely, especially if you don’t feel understood or cared for by the people around you.
You may choose to be alone and live happily without much social contact. The key is we all experience loneliness differently and it isn’t something that just older people experience, research shows that the 16 – 24 age group can be the loneliest.
We have evolved to feel safest in groups and as a result we experience isolation as a physical state of emergency. We must all watch our language around the topic too ….. we still use words like ‘admitting to’ or ‘suffering from’ loneliness and telling someone you are lonely is an important step, but we don’t want to add to the belief that something is wrong with us.
We are all different and if someone tells you they are lonely, rather than suggest lots of new things for them to try, why not ask them what they think they would like to do.
You could help others to feel more connected or feel more connected yourself; send a letter, video call, phone or text, start or join a virtual book club, start a WhatsApp group for your neighbours, say hello to a (socially distanced) passer-by and help others by sharing your experiences of loneliness on social media.
Some ideas to consider:
- Why not join a virtual coffee meeting or set one up for your District. 30 minutes to catch up once a week and have a chat.
- Join an online exercise class with a friend or family member on You Tube, Facebook or Instagram. There are hundreds of free ones out there at the minute!
- Find something new to watch either on IPlayer or Netflix, then recommend it to a friend or family member and get a conversation going about it.
- Join an online course, perhaps you fancy learning a new language, or want to brush up on creative writing or learn more about coding.
There is something for everyone!