Many of us get lonely but not all of us get loneliness.
What is Loneliness Awareness week?
Loneliness Awareness week is an annual campaign set up by the charity Marmalade Trust that raises awareness and gets people talking about it.
It is so important to raise awareness of loneliness and have those types of conversation. Shockingly, most of us feel extreme loneliness at some point in our lives but not many people speak about it. It is a lot more common than people realise.
Since the pandemic began, people have been feeling more isolated than ever and being withheld from seeing your family and friends has taken a toll on many of us. As humans we rely on social connections to help us enjoy life and we have been restricted from doing so over the past year and half. Loneliness awareness week is demonstrating how people’s lives can be severely affected by the feelings of loneliness. It can affect them mentally, emotionally and physically.
When an individual feels lonely, they can have feelings of despair, distress, anxiety, helplessness and deep pain. Feelings of loneliness can even lead people down a dark, long path of depression and suicidal thoughts. This is why it is so crucial to raise awareness of the emotion of loneliness and do what we can to help people who feel this way and ourselves if we ever felt such a way.
How can you help?
If you or someone you know experiences feelings of loneliness, the first step would be to talk about it with someone in your life. They could support you and with them being aware of your feelings, they could make a conscious effort to spend time with you and potentially reduce or eliminate the feeling. Alternatively, if this is not an option; talk to your doctor about this. Your doctor can refer you to a therapist to delve further into these emotions and find out the route cause. A doctor could also talk to you about your options. Cognitive behavioural therapy has also been proven to help people understand and challenge their automatic thoughts and feelings to help reduce loneliness. You and your doctor could talk through this option.
If someone you know is experiencing loneliness and they communicate this to you, be a comfort and good listener for them. Ensure to make time for them and maybe try to get them out more into the community if they have not tried this already.
Ways to help the Marmalade Trust and help raise awareness of loneliness can be done through donating or fundraising. Many people hold fundraisers and take part in a sporting activity like a hike or a cycle and collect funds from the people in their community. This is also a great way to show how communities can come together and support those who experience loneliness.
Talking about it across all your social media platforms can keep the conversation going and raise awareness to the people you know. In turn, they can share it to the people they know. It’s like a chain reaction.
How do we deal with loneliness?
Here, at Cherished Care, we provide care for many clients who have experienced loneliness. We offer them the best support and companionship. We give them our time, listen to them, try to make them smile. We make them feel heard, seen and loved. We treat them as we would our own family.
For more information about loneliness and Marmalade Trust, I have left a few links below.