Lincoln City Foundation understand that loneliness is increasing across Lincolnshire, and with it, a need for individuals to understand that it can affect a wide range of people in many ways. Loneliness can happen in an overcrowded household, in our schools and universities, workplaces and to those living next door.
Part of National Loneliness Awareness Week is recognising that anyone can be overwhelmed by this emotion, which can have lasting impacts on a person’s health and wellbeing.
It is expected that loneliness will be felt by even more people in our communities throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, leaving individuals feeling isolated, anxious and depressed.
Charlotte Hornsby, Operations Manager at Lincoln City Foundation, said: “Incorrectly, when people think about someone being lonely, we might just think of an older person living alone."
“You can feel lonely at any point in your life; as a student studying away from home or a young person being bullied, a carer of a family member with the pressures and responsibilities this brings, single parents and new parents, being unemployed, or those suffering bereavement or ill health.”
An example of the impact of Loneliness across Lincolnshire is evidenced within the older population. Around 10% of those aged over 65 are said to be lonely all or most of the time (Age UK) which means that in Lincolnshire there are approximately 16,886 older people experiencing loneliness (Campaign to End Loneliness).
The Marmalade Trust, through their campaign, asks us to recognise, identify and take action against loneliness in our communities.
Coping with Loneliness
Lack of Social Interaction: if you are feeling lonely because you do not get to speak to people, try and make new connections with like-minded people. This can often feel very daunting and you might know where to start looking. You could volunteer in your community or for a local charity. The Foundation offers a variety of volunteering opportunities or you could get in touch with your local Volunteer Centre.
Lack of Emotional Understanding: if you are feeling lonely because you are not being heard or understood, try and speak to a friend or family member that you can trust first. If you are uncomfortable doing this face-to-face you could call or write a note explaining your feelings without pressure or interruption. If you do not have anyone that you can speak to, you can speak to one of the volunteer Samaritans on 116 123. These people are here to listen without prejudice and may be able to offer advice on how to move forward. You can also call your GP who will also be able to advise on any help locally.
Tips for Moving Forward
Take your time: do not put yourself under pressure and take it at your own pace.
Do not compare yourself to other people and think that you are the only one feeling this way.
Don’t be embarrassed.
Remember, loneliness is only temporary. Think of it like being hungry, if you are hungry, you feed your body and gives it what it needs. When you feel lonely, it is usually your way of looking for people, interaction, and support. Spend some time giving you what you need to combat this feeling.
If you are currently isolated in the Lincoln area as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, you can call our Community Response team who can help you on 07736 900341.