Tackling loneliness

A red phone with a cord lies on a white background

At times like these, it can become quite easy for feelings of loneliness to creep in, particularly if you’re social distancing or self-isolating.

However, there are ways to ensure those feelings don’t become overwhelming, and you can stay connected to others during this time.

SOCIAL MEDIA

It’s important to strike a fine balance between maintaining a connection with the outside world, and not getting too overwhelmed with everything that’s going on.

Sharing experiences and concerns online is a great way of making connections and helping to feel less alone, especially if you can find others who relate to your situation.

However, spending time on social media also means receiving constant updates about what’s going on, which can have a negative impact on mental health, and can make you feel more alone and helpless.

It’s important to recognise when you need to take time away from social media if it’s overwhelming you.

It’s a great tool and can help combat loneliness, but if it’s starting to cause stress, think about putting your phone down and seeking comfort in something else.

Charities such as Scope, Mencap, the MS Society and more have online forums where you can turn to for a chat, which can be a great way of socialising.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Just because pubs and restaurants are closing and you can’t go out to socialise with friends or family doesn’t mean you can’t stay in contact with them in other ways.

If you live alone, video calling was invented for times like these. You can enjoy face-to-face communication without having to step outside, and is great if you don’t want to have people round at the moment. Instead of texting or calling people, try the switch to video calling and see if it improves any feelings of isolation or loneliness.

If you live with family or friends, try to have as much contact as possible, and catch up at meal times or over a cup of tea. This is a great time to reconnect with your loved ones and make the most of your time together, especially if you’re living in isolation together.

Contact with friends and family will help to maintain a sense of normalcy during this challenging time, so if you can, make socialising a priority, even in isolation.

RADIO

If you have access to the radio, have it on in the background while you work or carry out other household tasks. If you’re feeling lonely, it can help to feel like someone is talking to you, and can bring light relief at this overwhelming time.

Shows such as the Scott Mills Show on Radio 1 and the Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp are great if you want some comfort and something to laugh along with.

The BBC has also announced that they will launch virtual Sunday church services amid the coronavirus pandemic, for those who cannot get to church but would like to carry on with their worship.

ONLINE COMMUNITY

Here at Enable, we’re working hard to ensure our readers are well-supported during this time. If you have any suggestions about how we can help, or anything you’d like to see us cover – from advice and spotlighting support services, to promoting positive news – let us know on Twitter and Instagram.