EEA Counselling


Mental Health Awareness Week 2022: How To Cope With Loneliness

As a counsellor and psychotherapist in Havering and online, I understand that loneliness is a major problem for many people. The pandemic forced many people to shut themselves away from their loved ones, causing widespread feelings of isolation, however loneliness is not a new phenomenon. Our fast-paced life styles, combined with the atomising influence of social media, can reduce the extent to which we are physically and emotionally connecting strongly with others.

And so, for Mental Health Awareness Week this year, it feels necessary, if not vital, to acknowledge the long-term loneliness felt by plenty of people both young and old. Many of us have come out the other side of the pandemic feeling more withdrawn; being kept away from friends and family, and spending time on our own for prolonged periods, may have lead us to retreating into ourselves - a process that, over time, causes feelings of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem. We may have fallen into unhelpful coping mechanisms to combat this, such as addiction or OCD.

Loneliness may also exacerbate issues that we could be already experiencing. Anyone who was struggling with their mental health before the pandemic may have felt these pressures increasing during the loneliness of lockdown. And as we head into the first ‘normal’ summer for three years, it may be time to focus our thoughts on how to build more substantial relationships with the people in our lives - both old and new.

This is easier said than done. It may feel difficult to be more outgoing after getting so used to being in smaller groups or on our own. Perhaps our work lives have changed, preventing us from being social and fostering connections with others. A high proportion of people now have no choice but to work from home, and this presents a unique set of challenges. Rather than mixing with colleagues in an office environment, we are forced to work from our bedroom or living room - thereby using the same space for work and rest, which blurs the boundaries between these two areas of our lives, creating mental burnout.

And so, during Mental Health Awareness Week this year, let’s take a moment to reach out to others, and make a deliberate effort to speak to someone this week. Even just a simple text can have a hugely positive impact on someone’s day. People can be lonely even when they are surrounded by others. It only takes a moment to check in on somebody.

If you are finding yourself shut off from other people and feel like you are alone with  your emotions, I am here to give you a helping hand, with personalised counselling and psychotherapy in Havering and online. Feel free to get in touch with me at any time. 

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