5 MIN READ
Stop and ask yourself: am I lonely? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. During lockdown, more people in England and Ireland have experienced loneliness than ever before*. With social distancing as our current norm, it’s hardly surprising. However, there is comfort in knowing that we’re all connected through this shared experience, and we don’t have to go through it alone.
This holiday season, we’ve collaborated with the Campaign to End Loneliness to remind us to stick together and reach out to those who need company; that could be your best friend, your grandparent, the person that sells you coffee each morning, it could even be checking in with yourself.
You never know what people have going on in their lives, and just a five-minute call or spontaneous chat over the garden fence could make someone’s day. If anything has come out of this year, it’s a positive reminder that we’re all connected even when we’re apart. Here are five ways to ensure we keep it that way.
In a world full of online hangouts and TikTok dances, a telephone call might sound old fashioned—but a recent survey showed that this is still the nation’s favourite way to stay in touch during lockdown**. Next time you reach out to a friend, colleague, or family member—try stepping away from your screens and pick up the phone instead, or even better, encourage each other to go for a walk at the same time. You never know what that call might mean to the person on the other end of it.
If you miss catching up over brunch or dining in your favourite restaurants, why not take full advantage of today’s brilliant technology and recreate it over a video call. You can show each other your best attempt at avocado on toast, or if you really love cooking, start a dinner club and share recipes. It’s really all about seeing your loved ones laugh and smile—which not only boosts them, but your own well-being, too.
Despite there being less to do in the external world, our diaries can still become jam-packed with virtual quizzes and birthday celebrations. Before you burn out, check in with yourself and remember that it’s ok to say no to invitations. If you’d rather take a bath, read or maybe do an online yoga class or workout, make sure you prioritise self-care and enjoy every minute—because we can’t connect with others if we aren’t connected with ourselves.
This probably goes against what you were taught as a kid but striking up random conversations can have a huge impact—and it can be as mundane as talking about the weather. It’s all about creating micro connections: the small moments that make you walk away with a smile. Next time you’re buying a coffee or groceries, try asking the cashier how their day is going—the chances are you’ll both feel a lift in your mood.
If you live in a city, this can often be easier said than done—but no matter where you call home, having a sense of community around you is so important, especially during these times. If you have elderly neighbours or a family with young children nearby, try dropping a note under their door to see if there’s anything you can do to help like buying groceries or walking the dog. It’s these simple acts of kindness that can make the biggest difference.
* Office for National Statistics. Coronavirus and loneliness, Great Britain: 3 April to 3 May 2020. Available from: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandlonelinessgreatbritain/3aprilto3may2020 Last accessed: October 2020.
*** This article was written in association with the Campaign to End Loneliness and references its extensive research on the topic. The charity was founded in 2011 to inspire connections and bring communities together across the UK.
Join us for a special yoga fundraiser led by global ambassador Sanchia Legister.
All donations will go towards the Campaign to End Loneliness.
When: 15th December 2020, 18:00-19:00