Loneliness Week 2022

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Loneliness Week 2022

This week (13th-17th June) is national Loneliness Awareness Week. The week was created by The Marmalade Trust to raise awareness of loneliness across the UK

What is loneliness?

Loneliness can be referred to as the unwelcome feeling we can experience when there is a mismatch between the social relationships we have and those that we would like to have. For example, we might feel that there is something missing or lacking in the quality of our social relations.
Loneliness can present itself as variety of symptoms and affects people in different ways, and for this reason there are four distinct types of loneliness identified by psychologists: emotional, social, situational, and chronic

Signs and Symptoms of Loneliness (in yourself or in others)

  • Difficulty sleeping – often sleeping too much or not enough – this acts as a way to remove yourself from everyday feelings or due to stress and anxious thoughts.
  • Loss of confidence – reduction in socialisation can decrease your confidence: impact communication skills, review your actions/conversations while alone = not wanting to go out again.
  • Reduction in exercise – loneliness may reduce the amount you exercise as may not want to go alone, fear of being judged and don’t have someone to encourage you.
  • Increased chance of depression, low self-esteem, and frustration.
  • Constantly feeling ill – being lonely can increase your chance of a weakened immune system. 

How to help:

Some people may be aware they're lonely and may feel that they are stuck in a cycle. If you suspect someone you know (even yourself) may be lonely, you can help by:

  • Encourage a chance of scenery – awaken the senses and encourage them to enjoy the beauty of nature, even if it’s just a walk round the block, it can make the world of difference.
  • Be there – such a small task but this can make the biggest impact. Simply showing that you care about them and offering a safe space to talk about their worries and concerns can be really helpful. 
  • Find something to look forward to – plan a weekly visit or outing to have something to look forward throughout the week. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, a free walk in the park with a friend or coffee shop with a neighbour can reframe your mind.
  • Seek help – if it’s all too much or you don’t know what were to start, please reach out to your local professional, your GP will be able to guide you in the right direction.

Support in Norfolk:

Sometimes, you might need some extra support with feelings of loneliness, and that's okay. There are many organisations who can offer support with feelings of loneliness and social isolation across Norfolk.

  • CANConnect can help if you live in the Breckland or North Norfolk area.
  • Better Together can help you if you live in Broadland, Norwich, South Norfolk or Great Yarmouth areas.
  • Lily can help if you live in West Norfolk.

Visit the websites above for more information about the support provided across Norfolk and to refer yourself or someone else for additional support.