Guest post by Bianca Serra

We all get lonely sometimes, so let’s talk about it.

Feeling lonely can happen to any of us, at any age or stage of life and there is absolutely no shame in it. Loneliness is something that can sometimes creep up on you but it’s important to remember that you are not alone in this feeling.

East Sussex County Council is supporting Loneliness Awareness Week 2023, from Monday 12 to Sunday 18 June. Launched by the Marmalade Trust, a leading UK loneliness charity, the campaign aims to:

  • Raise awareness of loneliness
  • Reduce stigma
  • Encourage people to connect with others

Loneliness can have a negative impact on both our physical and mental health, as well as our relationships and communities. Whilst loneliness itself isn’t a mental health problem, feeling lonely can impact one’s mental health and heighten negative feelings. That’s why it’s important to talk about how we feel and find healthy ways to cope.

By sharing our stories, we can feel heard and help others feel seen. Talking allows us to create a culture of understanding and inclusion. It helps us work towards building a society where everyone feels connected, valued, and supported.

If you do find you are struggling with your mental health, the East Sussex County Council website has a list of local services offering help and support.

There is no age limit when it comes to feeling lonely

From starting university as a teen to work pressures and responsibilities as an adult, and retirement, limited mobility or loss of loved ones in our older years – there’s a lot out there to make us feel lonely.

Additionally, research show that during the summer many older people are likely to feel lonelier due to family and friends being busier. Older people don’t get as many visits from their loved ones and can often find themselves alone for longer periods of time, which can be tough. Let’s remember to check in on our elderly this summer with a phone call or a face-to-face chat. It could make their whole week.

Are you feeling lonely?

If you are the one feeling lonely, it’s important to remember to never compare yourself to anyone else. We all have our own journey, and comparisons will only make you feel worse. Instead, try to focus on doing something to improve your mood.

Enjoy the outdoors? Head out for a walk around some gorgeous local hikes.

Love to read? Explore your local library.

Struggling with the silence? Visit a bustling place and enjoy being surrounded by others. You may even get chatting to a new person and make a friend.

In need of some self-care? Block out some ‘me-time’ and relax, unplug, or soak away your stress with a long hot shower or bath.

Don’t forget that the biggest step you can take towards combating feelings of loneliness is to reach out and tell someone how you are feeling. More people will understand than you think and it’s time to take a more positive approach.

For more information on how to cope or help someone else with loneliness, please visit the Marmalade Trust website.