Loneliness is an unwelcome feeling which results from a gap between the quantity of the relationships that we have and the quality of those relationships. For many months we have all been facing challenges to the way we socialise and that has increased our sense of isolation. Detachment is the unfortunate outcome from staying safe in this pandemic and saving lives. Long term loneliness can affect our mental health, so it is important to adapt and make the most of new ways to see friends and family. The people we support now use window visits, social media, group chats, telephone or video calls and use our Covid-secure visitor pod to spend time with friends and family on a regular basis.
To highlight the importance of speaking to people when we are experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation, Leanne Buck from Lincoln University’s LSJ News reached out to our Media Officer, Abbi Head to give New Directions’ charity perspective for her news story. Leanne was looking for someone to offer some words of support for those feeling lonely, how they can access help if they need it and why we should always talk to someone about how we are feeling. The relaxed interview demonstrates that they are not alone in the way they are feeling. Check out LSJ News for the university’s news website article.
No-one is exempt from feelings of loneliness and we can feel lonely even in a crowd depending on our circumstances. Many people have lost family and friends over the past year including the people who we support. We understand that grief feels like loneliness and that this has been a test of our resilience and ability to adapt. As a charity we have helped people to cope with loss and manage the restrictions placed upon funerals. Full LSJ news item on Facebook.
Living alone has led the people we support to form strong support bubbles with their flatmates inside our accommodation. Alternatively, if they live in the community individuals have bonded with one other household. These bubbles enable people to enjoy going out for walks or spend time inside each other’s communal areas to manage their isolation from their friends. We know that while there are no rules on the size of the household you can join up with, it is safer to join a household support bubble with a smaller group of people. Our accommodation has been a great way to provide these social pockets.
New Directions is making every effort to provide opportunities to support people to look to the future and plan lots of great things to look forward to. As a charity we know that feelings of loneliness will not last forever and look forward to a time with distant memories of the current effects of this pandemic.