Research shows just how lonely we’re feeling thanks to coronavirus (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)
Being locked down for a second time is tough, and it turns out that a majority of us are feeling the effects.
During the first lockdown, research undertaken by the Office for National Statistics showed just how much loneliness had come to impact all of our lives.
The numbers were quite staggering, with five percent of adults in the UK saying that ‘they felt lonely “often” or “always”’. Unsurprisingly, though, it is single people who have been feeling the effects more than most.
In fact, in new research conducted by dating app Bumble, a massive 68% of all single respondents said that they were experiencing loneliness this year, with the vast majority of them (91%) citing the coronavirus crisis and lockdown as the main reason.
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This isn’t particularly surprising. Restrictions of one type or another have been in place non-stop since March, and have put limits on the number of people we can see, as well as our freedom to go out and meet new people.
Now, during this second lockdown, essential businesses like gyms, shops and restaurants are once again closed, working from home is dragging on, and people are unable to socialise with others outside their household or support bubble.
This means that dates are certainly off the table for the time being, while social distancing means that meet-ups with friends and family are all likely to be limited for the foreseeable future after lockdown, too.
Even those who aren’t single are feeling a certain sense of disconnection from their loved ones during this strange year, and more than half (57%) of all respondents reported feeling a sense of ‘social dislocation’.
Even those who aren’t single are feeling less connected thanks to Covid (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)
Clearly, then, people aren’t finding 2020 easy. And, with lockdown two now well under way, it is likely that many will be feeling their loneliness more acutely than ever.
Sadly, the ONS found that those who were struggling the most with loneliness were also ‘struggling to find things that help them cope during lockdown’. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope.
If you’re feeling lonely during this second lockdown, the NHS has some tips you can try to help you tackle it:
Explore ways to spend time together
There are still ways to spend time with loved ones during lockdown, like chatting, playing games and even watching films together online, as well as virtual social events.
Be more social and check in regularly
Try a get into a routine of reaching out to others, including friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. This second lockdown offers the perfect opportunity to get back in touch.
Share your feelings
Talking about your feelings of loneliness can help, especially if they are able to offer some support.
Do more things you enjoy
Now that we all have more time, it’s a good idea to fill it with things you enjoy doing, like reading or exercising.
Stay busy by learning something new
There are plenty of ways to learn new skills either online or through books, and who knows, you might even find a new favourite hobby.
Volunteer to help others
Volunteering is good for others and good for the soul, and there are plenty of charities and organisations that need your help.
Join an online community
There are online support groups for people who are experiencing loneliness, so you don’t have to feel alone.
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