Almost a quarter (24%) of adults living under lockdown in the UK have felt loneliness, and according to mental health statistics, have more than doubled in the most effected group (18-24 years) since the lockdown. With many people losing jobs and forced to live apart from their partners, friends and family, its no wonder more than half of the uk population of adults have been feeling these effects. One in six older people aged over 55 said they had felt lonely as a result of coronavirus. That’s why its so important to stay connected with the people around us right now. We are all dealing with this global epidemic and its such an important time to speak to our neighbours (from a safe distance), write to our families and friends in different countries, states or at least a lengthy car journey away. For families like mine, who live in both England and Wales, haven’t been able to see physically each other for months, so, we have taken the opportunity to write letters to each other, as well hold a fortnight video call. I also think its time to remain creative. For many of us being furloughed, or who have lost or have jobs on hold, and are spending more time at home than being able to work, being creative with the people we can be with is just as important as connecting with those who are a phone call away. Organisations like Young Minds have offered a list of creative ways to stay connected with your loved ones right now. The University of Creative Arts mention starting an online book club, Isolation Arts School post projects and workshops on how to do things like homemade fairy gardens, coffee art, lino making, and using that left over cardboard from all your Amazon Prime deliveries to make jack in the boxes. An honourable mention would have to be my brother making wooden fairy furniture with his family, which he also sells on Etsy- all materials straight from the garden and made to order. Him being furloughed at this time is tough but I love his positivity and that he uses his chosen career in architecture to ignite the young minds in his family, as well as creating beautiful handcrafted garden furniture like gates and signs made from fallen trees.
So, however you’re spending your lockdown, please connect with those around you. Mental health isn’t always visible and also please take this time to spend as much quality time with the people around you and (as we’re now allowed to in Wales), if you’re happy to- another household within 5 miles as we can. Life is a precious one.