Thursday, February 04, 2021

Ways To Combat Loneliness During Lockdown

 

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We're now into our third lockdown in a year and these can be very lonely times for people of all ages. The pandemic has affected everyone and on a global scale and while we're all trying to protect our physical health, our mental health can be suffering.

Loneliness is an awful thing to live with. It can make you feel isolated and depressed. It can be hard to reach out when you feel this way, but by making small steps you can help yourself to feel less isolated and lonely.

Here are some ways to combat loneliness during lockdown:

1. Seek help

There are lots of services available for those who may feel lonely. If you are an elderly person who lives alone and are in need of some help, or just a friendly face to chat to, then home care is a fantastic option. 

If you have family or friends who may not be aware of how you're feeling, reaching out to them via phone or text is a good idea too. There are also mental health supports available online for people who may not have anyone to turn to.  

2. Organise a themed Zoom call night with friends

Believe me, I know a Zoom call really isn't the same as going out for drinks or dinner with friends, but in some cases, it's all we have during lockdown.

Make things fun by organising a themed Zoom call. Have virtual dinner and drinks together - you can all still see each other and chat, even if it is over a screen. Enjoy some good food and drinks together - learn more about some of your friends favourite food and drinks.

3. Meet for a socially distanced walk

For mental health reasons, meeting for a socially distanced walk with someone you know is okay. You can chat and walk outdoors and enjoy each other's company for awhile - even if it is from a 2 meter distance.

4. Make use of free video call apps

Thankfully we're blessed with great free video call apps in this age and they can really help to combat loneliness. Myself and my partner have family in different countries and being able to see and speak to them for free on a daily basis is amazing for us.

The likes of FaceTime really help to make us feel not so cut off from our families.

5. Do more things you enjoy

Loneliness can be crippling and it can be hard to find the positives in a lockdown situation. By spending time doing more things you enjoy it'll help to lift your mood and may allow you to connect with people with the same interests and hobbies on social media.

Take this time and any unexpected time you may have off work, etc. to enjoy things that may have gone on the back burner when life was busier for you. Distraction is a great way to combat loneliness.

6. Take up snail mail

I wholeheartedly recommend discovering the art of snail mail, especially during lockdown. I wrote to may pen pals for years and it was some of the happiest times of my life.

Send someone you love a handwritten note and/or a care package. Look for a pen pal on sites such as Interpals and make friendships with new people around the world, all through good old fashioned snail mail.

7. Know you're really not alone - even though it feels that way

These times are hard, but they too shall pass. Hopefully soon we'll be able to all see each other, explore and meet new people again. Until this time comes, make use of social media, video calls and phone calls, email and any other communication route you can to stay in touch with people and speak to people daily.

Check in with friends and those you love. A simple 'how are you' can really let people know you care.

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