Being alone doesn’t have to be lonely
By Helen Willmott, Programme Director, Made With Many
So, here we are again with tough national restrictions put in place by the government to get the country through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our lives are severely restricted and whilst that is absolutely the right thing to do, it does mean that everyday life is tough for many people in our community. Maybe like me, you are the only adult in your house, forced to work from home and go days without seeing another adult in person. Maybe you’re trying to home school your children or having to still go into your place of work but without the normal social tea breaks and post-work drinks.
According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 45% of adults in England report feeling lonely occasionally, sometimes or often and as loneliness can have a detrimental effect on not only our mental health but our physical health too, it’s a real concern for lots of people.
But, there are ways that you can reduce feelings of loneliness, even if you spend a lot of time on your own. Connecting with friends via phone calls, messages or even letter writing, spending time outdoors, exercise and planning in things to look forward to have all been proven to help. As has making new connections and taking up a new hobby, which is where we believe that creativity can be a really powerful tool.
We’re currently running a number of projects that are aimed at connecting people and learning new creative skills. From our homeless choir and writers group for adults to the Wild Winter Challenge for families with pre-school children (all in Wellingborough) to our at-home puppetry project in Corby, we’re seeing local people come together through video calling, social media groups, phone calls and shared, remote experiences. And over the coming months, we’ll be launching a range of new projects to offer even more chances to try a new activity and meet new people along the way.