For many of you who work with our residents, it’s possibly something that you try to support them with on a regular basis, but do you take your own feelings into consideration?
I think it’s fair to say that we all feel lonely from time to time and yet it’s not necessarily the same as being alone. You can be surrounded by friends, family and colleagues and still feel lonely, particularly if you don’t feel understood or supported. This short video clip from the Mental Health Foundation (1minute 30 seconds) explains the feeling of loneliness brilliantly.
Loneliness is personal to everyone and so the causes are unique for us all. Sometimes a key life event can make us feel lonely, such as:
- -A relationship breakdown or break-up
- -A bereavement
- -Moving house or to a new job, where relationships haven’t yet been established.
- -Retiring and losing social contact with former colleagues
If you or someone you know needs help to manage your feelings of loneliness, then there is help available.
MIND has some useful tips to support you, such as:
- – Taking it slow. Thinking about trying to meet new people can be overwhelming, but there’s no rush; take small steps. If you’re interested in joining a new group, you could ask to just watch at first, rather than taking part.
- – Be careful when comparing yourself to others. Remember that people often only share things on social media that they want others to see.
- – Try peer support. Have you heard about Side by Side? Operated by MIND, it’s an online community, open to anyone over the age of 18 and open 24/7 online. It’s a place to listen, share and be heard.
And of course, don’t forget that within the Trust, we have a number of people you can go to for help:
Refreshed well-being leaflets (linked below) have been sent around our homes and villages – they include details of our Employee Assistance Programme (0208 068 0035), pastoral care team, people directorate contact details, and more.
Talking goes a very long way, please do reach out if you need some extra support – you are not alone.
Emma and Naomi