Two years after lockdown there’s still a toll on loneliness and social isolation.
If you have been feeling lonelier after the lockdown, you are not alone. You stand alongside 41% of adults who have felt lonelier since lockdown. Many of us hoped and expected to go back to our previous lives once the news announced we were free to live as before, so why is it that so many of us still feel lonely 2 years on? We think there are a few contributing factors.
Living during the pandemic was an extremely stressful time for most of us, we found out how easy it was to get sick, we saw how quickly life can change, and just how precious every second of life is. We lived in limbo, we feared for ourselves and our loved ones, and we had no idea what would happen tomorrow. It’s therefore completely understandable that these fears and emotions could carry on past lockdown, especially when we feel we have less control over the disease due to lifted restrictions.
If you are struggling with anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic, support is out there, Norfolk and Waveney Mind has some advice here.
While lockdown has ended for most of us, some of us are still living with protective measures due to having health issues. Whether this means isolating completely, only meeting in ventilated spaces, or avoiding crowds, it can have a knock-on impact on someone’s ability to socialise. Certain events and hobbies can become risky, and it may become common to have to avoid loved ones when they’re sick.
Another impact on health that we have seen grow from the pandemic is Long Covid. Long Covid varies in symptoms but can include joint pain, breathlessness, and fatigue, leaving individuals having to adjust to a new lifestyle which may not always allow for socialising to be their priority.
If you’re looking for ways to socialise from the comfort of your own home, we suggest keeping an eye on Wellbeings Facebook, as they sometimes offer online activities. You can also find some disability-friendly resources on the EveryMove website.
Some of the best ways to make friends and keep relationships is by frequently enjoying a joint interest. So not being able to go to the gym, bingo hall coffee shop or wherever your home away from home was, has easily had an impact on many of our social groups. Low morale and distance were culprits for creating isolation in lockdown, but our change in routine is having a large impact post-lockdown. During the pandemic, we had so much time to video call, play games and keep in contact, but nowadays, most of us have lost that extra time and need to go back to a busier lifestyle, which can be hard. It makes sense when this study found that 50% of us reported that the pandemic had changed our friendships, with 20% being more distant.
There are many of us out there now who have fewer friends than we did before the pandemic, some of us may even feel like we have an entirely different set of friends Post lockdown. We may be wondering how to make new friends, how to fix old relationships, or how to meet our new online friends in person. At CAN Connect we can help you get closer to your community, meet like-minded people and re-build the confidence you need to go out and about.
The lockdown led to the loss of many businesses, and with that, people’s jobs and livelihoods. Years later, many of us found ourselves still in debt. Finances are a huge barrier to socialisation, as it limits our ability to travel, go for meals with friends, or take time off work. Some of us may find that it is especially hard to find the finances to partake in the social activities we want due to the current cost of living and the rising unemployment rates.
Have we missed anything? Tell us what you think!
Have you felt more, or less, lonely since the lockdown has passed? We would love to hear from you! You can share your thoughts with us here on our Facebook page.
If you or someone you know are feeling lonely and want to learn more about the support available to you, we’re here to help, you can contact us at email@example.com or make a referral by clicking here.