Are you feeling lonely?
Lockdown is coming to an end, there's light at the end of the tunnel. However, a study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that, between 3 April to 3 May 2020, 7.4 million adults in the UK, said they felt lonely. That's a ton of people
Our social lives have been put on hold
Our usual social routines have been thrown up into the air. We can't meet up with people who we don't live, our routines have been disrupted so it’s not surprising that some of us are starting to feel disconnected and lonely.
The ONS study highlights that working-age adults who live alone were more likely to experience loneliness. I was also noted in those who have health problems, live in rented properties, or who were single were also more likely to feel lonely. So people who can sometimes already feel isolated, have begun to feel even more isolated in this pandemic.
Some of feel that our support network has disappeared
Usually, nine in 10 adults ‘agree’ or ‘strongly’ agree that they have a support network to step up if they needed to call on. But the study suggests that lockdown has left some us feeling more isolated than we were before.
The Office for National Statistics has been researching people’s well-being, checking how our country is doing and looking at social inequalities. People who already reported loneliness on occasion, were more likely than others to be struggling to find things to help them cope and were also less likely to feel they had support networks to fall back on.
In fact, during the lockdown, only seven in 10 people now feel that they had a support network around them.
There is light at the end of the tunnel
There is an end in sight, with the various aspects of the lockdown being relaxed slowly but surely. The Government is aware of the social problems affecting people, loneliness being one of them.
As the world gradually emerges out of lockdown, we have to hope that people can begin to make social connections and begin to renew friendships. This can then begin to make a difference to our mental health and wellbeing. This can also be an opportunity for us all to stop, look around and appreciate everyone in our lives.
Look to the future
This pandemic will end and our lives will return to some form of normality. It may not be the same, but that shouldn't stop us from appreciating those that we love the most. We can all use this time to appreciate how much we look forward to hugs and kisses from our nearest and dearest. Let's try to hold that thought and make sure we make the most of the ones we love and don't forget to tell them how much we care about them. Spread the love.