It is the time of year when people are normally getting into the Holidays spirit. But with limits on gatherings in place, the countdown to the festive period has been somewhat muted this year. There are millions of lonely people in the country, the number has risen during the pandemic. Fortunately, there are ways we can connect with each other over the coming weeks.
Write to a stranger
There are mental health support organizations connecting lonely individuals via the written word, encouraging participants to share some of the challenges they have faced during lockdown as well as their tips for staying resilient.
Phone a (new) friend
In the UK, The Silver Line operates a confidential telephone befriending service. It helps connect old people who are experiencing loneliness with volunteers willing to give their time for a friendly natter.
“The phone is almost universal, personal and a relatively inexpensive way to create social connection,” explains Robin Hewings, director of campaigns, policy and research at the Campaign to End Loneliness. “It’s a two-way thing, but not symmetrical so often one party is much more vulnerable.”
Become a volunteer
The volunteering landscape looks very different this Christmas due to the pandemic, but there are still many opportunities to help others. There are also nationwide volunteering opportunities with Meals on Wheels America, which delivers dishes to people who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals.
Walk and talk
Taking a stroll with someone is an informal way of making a connection – and it’s still permitted under lockdown rules. If you don’t know any would-be ramblers in the area, you could join a local walking group to connect with other hikers.
“Walking groups are good for your health, but there’s also something wonderful about not directly facing someone that makes it easier to have a conversation,” says an expert.
Connect virtually with colleagues
Working from home can be lonely. If you or your colleagues feel disconnected from each other, find or build playful wellbeing and team building sessions.
The virtual workshops are fun and a great stress buster. Play in a group brings us into the present moment with a shared experience.
Source: Positive News