*Please note: this picture is of people closer than two meters apart. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, it is important to stay two meters apart at all times.
This week (15-19 June), is Loneliness Awareness Week. It couldn’t come at a more important time than now when more people are at risk of experiencing loneliness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anyone can feel lonely from time to time which is why it’s so important to know how to spot the signs of loneliness and to be there for others.
How to spot the signs of loneliness:
- A sudden change in behaviour
- Reluctancy to see people
- Spending more time indoors
- Feeling overwhelmed by small tasks
- Tiredness and generally feeling drained
How to support someone you know:
- Pick up the phone and take the time to listen
- Send them a card
- Go for a walk with them
- Help them join a club or a group that might be of interest to them
- Check in via email or on social media
Making a small difference to strangers:
- Smile and say hello to people as you pass them
- Speak to your neighbours and ask if they need any help with daily tasks
- Be present and notice things around you. For instance, helping someone if they are struggling to reach something in the shop, or commenting to say you like a person’s outfit if it seems appropriate to do so – these small moments could make someone’s day.
- Volunteer your time with telephone support services such as AgeUK or The Silver Line
- Share these tips with friends and family. By encouraging them to try these small acts, you could be helping more people to feel less lonely.
Needless to say, please bear in mind social distancing and other guidelines provided by the government and the NHS when providing any of the support outlined above.