Loneliness in Lockdown

By Rachel Davis

Principal Associate

Recent events have brought to light just how many people in the UK suffer from loneliness. However, it is something that is not often talked about and the impact of loneliness on a person’s emotional and mental wellbeing is something that is often overlooked.

Some research suggests that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress.

Whilst many people are very happy in with their own company, many others who are living alone due to changes in the personal lives both planned and unexpected miss regular interaction with others and often the only place they have such interactions is at work.

With many people being asked to shield or self-isolate and increased numbers of people working from home due to COVID-19, the impact of loneliness on our wellbeing has been brought very much to the forefront.

Analysis by the Office of National Statistics puts the annual cost of loneliness to the economy at over £32 billion and to employers at over £2.5 billion. The question is: what can be done to help tackle loneliness?

The government has set out a challenge to employers to provide increased support to employees, customers and the communities they serve.

Employers are encouraged to sign the government’s Campaign to End Loneliness pledge, a statement that social connections and addressing loneliness are important to them. The government has also put together a strategy which included appointing a minister for loneliness

The charity Mind offers some tips on ways to deal with loneliness as well as their Five Ways to Wellbeing programme, which provides ideas on ways in which individuals can connect with others.

As we head towards Christmas 2020, with uncertainty as to whether people will be able to spend time with their loved ones, it is important that we recognise the impact loneliness can have and take the time to check in on those who may be feeling lonely.

For more information and to find out how we can help you, please contact us on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.