Loneliness is an experience that has been around since the beginning of time and it’s something every single one of us deals with from time to time. It can occur in response to a transition in your life such as the death of a loved one, losing or changing jobs, a divorce, or moving to a new town. Then add in the current governmental and health entities who are encouraging the public to self-isolate and social distance as we attempt to the curb the impact of COVID-19. These social distancing efforts have led to working from home; remote or online education; cancellation of sporting, entertainment, and professional events; and, closures of gyms, parks, churches and much more. Mental health factors, such as loneliness and depression, can become issues as we limit the social interaction that most of us have become accustomed to on a daily basis. Add on another layer during these uncertain times with people coping with the stress of losing their jobs, declining health from not being able to go to the gym or even be outside, or perhaps the loss of a loved one, can lead to a sense of hopelessness. Loneliness and isolation can also elevate depression and anxiety in those who are already suffering from underlying mental health issues.
What are the signs?
There may be subtle signs, there may be obvious signs, or there may be no signs at all. Sadness, a loss of the ability to sleep, hostility, sudden weight gain/loss, constant fatigue, or any number of unexplained behavioral changes are all signs of loneliness or depression. If you’re unsure, one of the best things you can do is simply ask. For someone who is lonely, you asking can make them feel important and cared about.
Once you become aware of loneliness in your friend or loved one’s life, you may be confused of what to do. But there are some actions you can take to cheer up just about anyone. Below are a few great ways to be a part of the antidote to loneliness.
Being connected to others socially is considered a fundamental human need. It crucial for both our well-being and overall survival. Community is an act of courage, now more than ever. Be a part of the solution…bring cheer and happiness to the life of another.
Struggling? You’re not alone. Reach out. Your life matters.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
What’s the simple act of kindness that you’re planning to share with someone today?