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Loneliness Awareness Week 10 – 16 June

We all experience loneliness, but this common human emotion is often misunderstood. It can affect all of us and people find it hard to talk about. The aim of this week’s campaign is to reduce the stigma of loneliness and encourage people to talk more openly about it.

Recent studies suggest that long-term loneliness is one of the largest health concerns we face. It is as harmful as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Feeling lonely can lead to depression, anxiety, disrupted sleep and stress. It can also be a factor in heart disease, increased blood pressure and degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

But we can all help, when you ask a friend, colleague, family member or even a stranger if they are ok, take time to listen to their reply and see what you might be able to do to help.

having a supportive conversation

One in five workers feel lonely at work on a typical working day.


This guide from Marmalade Trust   answers some questions to help us understand loneliness and

Those aged 18-24 are twice as likely to feel lonely at work than others (39% vs 18%). In fact, the older the age group, the lower their likelihood of feeling lonely in the workplace

If you’re feeling lonely today, take stock, take a deep breath and know you can take meaningful steps to create connections and build bonds.

One of the first ways to deal with loneliness is to determine what you really need. Avoid comparing how many friends other people have, or how much they socialise. Being surrounded by people all the time may not be the answer to your loneliness. Think about yourself and the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Manage how frequently you enjoy time alone as well making time to socialise.

In addition to being more comfortable with being alone. Invest time in getting to know colleagues, you can actively seek them out at break times, on arrival or departure when you are all together, just by asking how they are today can start a conversation. Conversely, if you want more connections, but lack the energy to create them, that’s when you need to make the greatest effort. Because by investing in relationships, you’ll build bonds which in turn will help you feel more engaged and motivated.

Another way to reduce loneliness is by giving. Often, feelings of loneliness are related to wanting more from other people—with a focus on yourself and what you’re getting (or not) from those around you. In contrast, a surefire way to reduce loneliness is to reach out to others and focus on what you can give and contribute to the community. Volunteer your time to local groups or charities.

You can actually reduce loneliness by being selective about who you spend time with. If you’re spending time with people who demotivate you or with whom you don’t get along well, you’re likely to feel more disenfranchised, no matter how much time you spend with them. So give yourself permission to say no to people who drain you or when you don’t want to attend an event. Choose to spend time doing things you enjoy. Opt for smaller groups of people who nurture you.

When you feel more joy and fulfilment outside of work, you tend to feel happier within your work as well. Reconnect with old school friends or start a conversation with someone in your gym class.

Sometimes, people confuse loneliness and boredom, so another way to reduce feelings of being down or apathetic is to fill your time with interesting activities.

If you are feeling lonely or if you are worried about someone else, the following resources offer help and advice


Mind –

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