Combatting Loneliness

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This session is for all employees.

Loneliness is affecting more and more of us globally and has a huge impact on our physical and mental health. Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our wellbeing.

The purpose of this workshop is to give participants clear means of identifying; the impact of loneliness both mentally and physically, the importance of staying connected in todays world, how to take action and build connectedness through support networks.

The session covers:

  • An epidemic of loneliness – Recognise and understand the global impact of social isolation
  • Types of loneliness – Understand the 5 main types; emotional, social, transient, situational, chronic
  • Cycles of loneliness – What happens when we get stuck in the cycle of loneliness and how do we break the cycle
  • From disconnection to re-connection – the importance of belonging, taking the first step towards connectedness, reflecting on our individual support network and making change
  • Increased awareness around the impact of loneliness on health and wellbeing
  • Increased understanding of the importance of strong and weak connections
  • Confidence to foster connectedness and support each other at work
  • A 90 minute session 
  • Up to 18 delegates
  • Interactive delivery using polls, chat, breakout discussions

The strategies to combat loneliness was most useful.”

 Natural History Museum

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Combatting Loneliness

Over the past few years, the restrictions on our lives have impacted human contact and social connection like never before. The pandemic has shone a light on the importance of staying connected and in relationship with others, to stay well and cope during uncertain times. According to a global survey, about 33 percent of adults experience feelings of loneliness worldwide. The ONS reported that between October 2020 and February 2021 the number of adults feeling often or always lonely increased by 7.2% which amounted to roughly 3.7 million adults across the UK experiencing chronic loneliness. 

Research suggests that there are certain groups of people who are more vulnerable to loneliness, including those with mental health problems. Other groups that are vulnerable are those living alone, single parents, minority groups, those with disabilities and those who have experienced sexual or physical abuse who may find it more difficult to form close relationships. Life events such experiencing bereavement, relationship breakdown or losing or changing jobs can also increase loneliness, all of which have become more prevalent post pandemic. Those experiencing chronic loneliness have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, as well as dementia.

The New Economics Foundation found that chronic loneliness impacts employee health causing productivity issues, high staff turnover and is a public health issue that costs employers in the UK roughly £2.5 billion a year.  Loneliness costs the US almost $7 billion extra each year and chronic loneliness negatively impacts economies in every country across the globe.

Five tips for combatting loneliness: 

  1. Try not to keep it to yourself – there is a lot of stigma and shame surrounding loneliness, we often don’t like to admit were feeling lonely, but talking to someone can be the first step to reconnecting with others. 
  2. Nurture through nature – the natural world can provide comfort and boost our mood, it can also make us feel more connected to where we live and we might meet people on the way.
  3. Focus on the little things – any small interaction can positively impact how we feel about ourselves, just saying hello and smiling to a bus driver, or a chat with the local coffee barista can give our brains a boost of happiness, oxytocin and dopamine. Research shows that people who have more instances of these casual types of interactions feel more happier overall.
  4. New connections – joining a local club or trying some volunteering can help us to meet likeminded people. If this feels too challenging, think about joining an online group or webinar as a first step. Lookup local befriending services in your area or check out specific “meet up” groups.
  5. Self-love – even when it’s tough, doing things that make us feel good can boost our self-esteem and confidence, meaning we might start feeling more able to reach out and connect with others. What is your self-care method? Keep it simple; a bath, creativity, cooking nourishing food, amongst other things can help us reconnect with ourselves.

Remember, it’s a fact, if you are feeling lonely, you are not alone! For more support around loneliness and techniques to combat it, please get in touch.

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