Lockdowns and restrictions play a vital role in keeping us safe, however, the toll on our mental health can not be ignored.
Financial stress, loss of work and lengthy and/or frequent lockdowns all play a significant role in our feelings of helplessness and loneliness. This Hello Care article looks at what we can do for others who may be vulnerable during this time. You may remember this article we featured last month on calls to seniors in lockdown which highlighted the work of MP Susan Templeman and young volunteers. While initiatives like this are great it’s also important to look at what we, as individuals, can do for those around us.
Michelle H Lim from Swinburne University of Technology recommends the following:
- Listen out: people may be hesitant to talk about their loneliness for fear of judgement or stigma. Those who reach out may do so in an indirect way to avoid feeling like a burden. When people reach out to you, in whatever way it may be, it’s important that we respond to these requests.
- Check in and share: Michelle notes that a simple “hello” can go a long way for many people feeling isolated and lonely. Checking in and sharing with those around us can be a bonding and supportive experience.
- Ask the right questions: asking “what do you think could help you?” is a step in the right direction to let people know you are open and non-judgemental.
- Be proactive: people have found connection on Zoom, writing letters, leaving care packages and exercising with friends where allowed.
The social cost to our well-being makes it more important than ever that we take the steps to remain meaningfully connected.