Under our current climate we are facing new, complex challenges such as isolation from family and peers, concerns about family, health, and financial security, not to mention leaving many people more alone than they’ve ever been in a long time, or ever. Social Isolation, especially in elderly, brings a higher likelihood of psychological and medical risks. Also, people may feel disconnected living on their own not having support from relatives or social connection to others. This can lead to loneliness and depression.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Anyone can experience loneliness at different times. In fact on average it affects around 1 in 4 Australians will experience loneliness. However, with social isolation now in play – the lockdown has sentenced those who live alone to an indefinite period of no physical contact and limited face-to-face interaction which will see this number rise dramatically.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
When you are feeling your most lonely, you doubt yourself, feel anxious socially, or are just unmotivated and want to be on your own. It’s almost counter-intuitive to interact with others, but that’s exactly what you need to do! Pick up the phone and call a family member or friend. We are fortunate to live in a time where we have easy access to several platforms from which you can make video phone calls with your loved ones.
The internet offers a plethora of people from all over Australia and the world that we can connect with instantly from the comfort of your own home. Facebook allows you to browse groups by topic and covers everything from ‘art and history’ to ‘science and technology’, you are bound to find something that interest you. Meetup is another site that offers similar groups where you can expand your social group and meet with like-minded people.
Pets, especially dogs, provide constant companionship and unconditional love. They will also get you active, while giving you a sense of purpose because you need to care for something beyond yourself.
Whilst tips like this can be a great start, don’t be afraid to seek help if you are really struggling with negative feelings of loneliness. You can call Open Arms Veteran and Family Counselling 24 hours a day on 1800 011 046.