Loneliness Awareness Week: 8 Ways to Stay Socialised
Working as a carer can be extremely rewarding as you provide valuable support and have meaningful impacts on the lives of others. However, caregiving can also be isolating and stats show that carers are seven times more likely to say they are always or often lonely when compared to the general population.
Loneliness Awareness Week is an annual campaign that occurs every year, taking place between the 13th - 17th of June this year. It’s the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and highlight loneliness in caregivers, whilst discussing the importance of caring for the caregiver and action the different ways one can help prevent loneliness.
Spending time with family and friends is one of the best ways to combat loneliness and isolation. Your loved ones can provide a valuable support network when you are feeling down or facing difficulties in life.
Stay in regular contact with your family and friends and make time to socialise with your loved ones. If you are unable to meet in person, stay in touch using communication technology like Skype or Facetime.
Becoming part of an online community will give you the opportunity to connect with like-minded people and interact with others in an alternative way.
According to Vanilla Forums: Online communities can provide comfort to people and help break down social barriers and users don't have to show their face, share their name or anything else that they don't want to.” It is a safe place to share knowledge and engage within a supportive community.
Starting a new hobby will allow you to pursue your passions and learn new skills. It can also be a fantastic way to meet new people and improve your social life. There are loads of new hobbies you can try such as team sports, gardening, playing an instrument, or cooking. Many community centers offer group classes that you can join to meet people in your local area and learn a new skill or hobby.
Volunteering within your local community could be a great way to meet new people and increase social interactions to help prevent loneliness. An easy way to look for little volunteering gigs is to check out your latest community or town hall notice boards!
Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and improve your mental health by being surrounded by people even after your care giving day finishes. Alternatively, you can find local volunteering opportunities by visiting Do-it.org or by contacting local charities to see what roles are available.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram build a sense of community and create rich social networks where people can connect and socialise. Use social media to stay in touch with your family and friends and nurture close relationships. You can also use social platforms to meet new people and make friends online.
Joining a local club or organisation is another easy way to meet new people and increase your social interaction. Consider using popular online social platforms that can help users connect with people in their local area. You’ll be able to find local events taking place at your local town hall or join online groups and forums.
Technology has revolutionised the way that we communicate and made it much easier to stay in touch with loved ones. Communication technologies like video chat and instant messaging services can help you maintain long-distance relationships and connect with the people around you.
Many people form close relationships with their neighbours, as connecting with the people who live close to you especially if you live on your won can create a strong sense of community.
The easiest time to connect with your neighbours is when they first move in. Go round to introduce yourself and welcome them to the neighbourhood. You could even organise a neighbourhood party to encourage everyone to socialise and get to know each other or simply ask them round for a cup of tea!
Caring for someone can bring joy, but many carers experience social isolation and 81% of carers say that they have felt lonely. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for carers to stay socialised and fight feelings of loneliness. This Loneliness Awareness Week let’s all raise awareness and work together to make life less lonely for carers.
Guest Blog Post - Lily Meyer