Loneliness is a natural human emotion. We are all hardwired to need some form of social connections, and without them we can often start to feel lonely. Feeling lonely for a long period of time can in turn negatively affect your mental health.
This year for Loneliness Awareness Week, the focus was on connections. Who are you connected to? How can you make connections with others? Why do we need connections? What support services are you connected with? Are there any local services near you?
Types of Loneliness:
Emotional Loneliness: The absence of meaningful relationships
Social Loneliness: A perceived deficit in the quality of social connections
Existential Loneliness: A feeling of fundamental isolation from other people and the wider world
Transient Loneliness: Feelings of loneliness that come and go
Situational Loneliness: Only occurring at certain times (Sundays, certain holidays, certain times of day)
Chronic Loneliness: Feeling lonely most, or all, of the time
It is important to remember that loneliness can affect people of all ages, not just the elderly.
In fact, reported loneliness is highest in people between the ages of 16 and 24. With 62% of lonely young people stating that feeling lonely decreases their self-confidence.
Sometime a simple text, quick phone call conversation or a 30-minute coffee date can make all the difference; so it is important to stay connected with friends and family and check in on each other from time to time.
Local charities may host events that you can go to, such a Salvation Army, they often have cafes where people can meet for refreshments and snacks at very reasonable cost, and free conversations!