Quite apt at this time of year!! Loneliness can be experienced at any time within our lives. I have previously written a small piece around this subject, located within my introductory page on my website. https://angelaeastmondtherapy.co.uk
Loneliness is a feeling that affects our physical and emotional wellbeing, which impacts our daily lifestyle, making day to day, usually manageable tasks, feel impossible to accomplish. Loneliness can occur when relationships end, such as friendships, those individuals you have known for many years, over time you recognise changes in yourself or your friends, that no longer feels comfortable.
Working relationships can take their toll and you begin to see your colleagues in a different light, this can also come down to our own personal growth and changes that take place within each individuals lives. Children leaving home, intensifies loneliness. A feeling of being bereft, suddenly time on your hands, not knowing what to do with yourself. This can be a huge adjustment! If you are in this situation, speaking with a counsellor who can support you as you navigate the changes taking place within your life will be a positive step forward. Children going off to university or deciding to relocate. Suddenly the noise, the laundry, being the chauffer and the cooking stops. A lot of responsibility comes with having children. As a parent or guardian, you will have been responsible for making sure their daily needs are being met. Overseeing homework, appropriate clothing for school washed, dried and ready for each day. Extra-curricular activities, drop off and pick up, as well as you going to work and taking care of the home environment and doing you best to meet your own needs.
As well as the many areas I have highlighted, we can experience loneliness when around loved ones. By not feeling appreciated, accepted, listened to, valued, or just feeling as though we no longer fit in. Social lives can also leave us unfulfilled and lonely. Our expectations change, life events such as a bereavement, may provoke questions in our own psyche. Am I happy? What would I like to do with the rest of my life? As noted at the start of my newsletter, this time of year can bring these questions to the forefront of our minds. I bring your attention to this point again. When we come to our interesting years, (what society deems to be old), we can begin to look at how we are living, realising we no longer wish to carry on living the same way. We can yearn to take part in different activities, change of career, change of location, and possibly begin to look at those dreams, we had in our younger years, which we put off, due to raising a family, or financially we didn’t have the means to carry them out. Maybe now is the time to look at what you would like to achieve and how you could go about this.
Another factor that can create the feeling of loneliness are social isolation, not having a connection with others, to share experiences or hobbies and to pursue activities with. Bereavement is also a common factor of loneliness. The person whom you would spend time with, may it be marriage or friendship is suddenly no longer around. Do seek immediate support in this instance. https://www.cruse.org.uk this site has valuable information which may be helpful to you.
Within society there has been a huge change of human behaviour, since the advancement of technology. We have been affected by the devices we rely on day to day. Our mobile phones, being the main device that we are attached to. We are always on alert to text messages, emails, etc. Even our shopping habits are now carried out online, rather than going out to the local shops or highstreets. Drawing from my own life experience, travelling on public transport, venturing to the local and high-street stores, involved speaking with individuals along the way, as there wasn’t any mobile phones or other devices to distract our attention. It was the done thing, to greet those on the bus, in the stores even strangers on the street whilst walking by! Nowadays we are caught up within the technology available, often getting lost in something we had no intentions of looking for. When you go online to seek information, such as what the weather will be like……. before you know it, you’re looking at the latest fashion trend, or you begin to look at your emails or a text message comes through, and you engage with it. Now, we no longer know our neighbours, interaction on the streets is no longer the norm, as we rush by with heads lowered in our devices, also oblivious to what is around us. How many times do you see someone with headphones on, lost in whatever they are listening to? At times I have witnessed such individuals stepping into the road into traffic or walking into someone coming in the opposite direction, totally distracted from their surroundings and others they are near to. Engrossed in whatever they are listening to, distracting them from being present. Public transport is now providing free Wi-Fi, which allows us to again be on our devices, heads buried, not communicating with fellow passengers. These issues and there are plenty more, are contributing to the loneliness factor. My work with clients has highlighted that loneliness is becomg common place.
Loneliness can be a debilitating feeling. It can lead to low mood, depression, even suicidal ideation. If this is you, seek immediate support from your local A&E or a trusted individual. Who you can count on to not share your conversation with anyone else. There are various organisations which you can reach out to such as the Samaritans, a free confidential service (link at the end of this newsletter). If you are experiencing loneliness right now, do reach out to me or again, someone you can trust. Seeking counselling for this reason is priority to share your world and gain the tools and knowledge to assist you. Working with me, you will have the opportunity to share whatever is going on for you in a safe, warm, comfortable space. You will gain valuable tools, that you can use between sessions and beyond, to support yourself and begin to take ownership of your mental health and physical wellbeing.
My final note, YOUR mental health is YOUR responsibility. Remember, you are the most important person in YOUR world. You deserve to put yourself first. In fact, I encourage you to do just that! Put YOU first! Mental Health is paramount for your inner peace and happiness. Once you take care of your mental wellbeing, other areas of your life will be easier to navigate and maintain. Take the first step! Get in touch! You are under no obligation to work with me once we have met. I encourage you to take some time to decide, if I am the person you would like to work with. Your complimentary session is the opportunity to make your own decision, as being the best way for you, to manage your emotional and mental wellbeing. What’s the worst that can happen?
If you would like to know more, or have any questions, do contact me via email.
I have added links below for you to take a look at, in you spare time. There is also a link to a good podcast about the subject of loneliness.
https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk You can use this site to view counsellors / therapists in your area.