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Loneliness Awareness Week 2020
We all feel lonely at times – it’s a normal human emotion.
We’re biologically wired for social contact, and loneliness is our signal that we need more.
The definition: Loneliness is a perceived mismatch between the quality or quantity of social connections that a person has and what they would like to have .
You don’t have to be on your own to feel lonely – you might feel lonely in a relationship or while spending time with friends or family – especially if you don’t feel understood or cared for by the people around you. Other people might choose to be alone and live happily without much social contact.
Loneliness can also be characterised by its intensity, or how strongly it is felt, which can change from moment to moment and over different durations of time . There are different types of loneliness including:
Emotional loneliness – When someone you were very close with is no longer there. This could be a partner or a close friend.
Social loneliness – When you feel like you’re lacking a wider social network of friends, neighbours or colleagues.
Transient loneliness – A feeling that comes and goes.
Situational loneliness – Loneliness which you only feel at certain times like Sundays, bank holidays or Christmas.
Chronic loneliness – When you feel lonely all or most of the time.
Who experiences loneliness?
Most of us will experience loneliness at some point in our lives, regardless of age, circumstance and background. It’s a common misconception that loneliness is limited to older people. In fact, it’s now the 16-24-year old’s who are the loneliest age group in the UK.
During the Covid lockdown, many people have experience feeling loneliness. What better time to get the conversation started and be kinder to each other?