Mental health and lockdown loneliness
It’s very obvious that COVID-19 is creating more than just physical symptoms. One of the feelings many of us are experiencing during the current pandemic is loneliness. We all knew straight away that lockdown was the way to keep everyone safe and well. However, in our efforts to save lives, we’ve had to put our need to see family and friends on hold. This is affecting some of our mental health more than we all anticipated.
How are we all feeling?
This isolation has left many people feeling very alone. COVID-19 has increased feelings of loneliness by physically isolating us from the people and things that can comfort us. We aren’t can’t hug the people we want to, meet up with friends or have a laugh in the work kitchen like we used to.
How does this affect our mental health?
Lots of us experience loneliness at some point in our life. However, these short-term feelings shouldn’t harm our mental health. The problem is, the longer the pandemic goes on, the more these feelings become long-term.
Long-term loneliness is can increase the risk of certain mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and stress. The impact of long-term loneliness on mental health is likely to have some effect on people.
How can we help each other?
Even though some restrictions have been lifted, we are still limited to how many people we can visit or socialise with. However, we can help ourselves and each other with loneliness in a number of different ways:
- If you’ve been furloughed or you have some time on your hands, find out about volunteering. It could be as simple as helping an elderly neighbour with shopping or as far as helping a charity.
- Organise a quiz night. You can do this online and it’s just as much fun! (well almost!)
- Have a garden get-together. Invite a few people over for a social distancing BBQ.