How to protect your loved ones from loneliness after the lockdown

Lockdown is coming to an end, but unfortunately that doesn’t spell the end of loneliness. Many people may even experience new or heightened anxieties around seeing and speaking to people after so much time apart. Here’s how you can support your loved ones after lockdown.

Understanding loneliness

Our partners at Campaign to End Loneliness conducted extensive research during the Covid-19 pandemic, as lockdowns and social distancing brought home the reality of social isolation and loneliness to the general public as never before. Their findings can help us all gain a better understanding of loneliness, so we can take informed action to turn loneliness into togetherness.

Here are some of the findings from Campaign to End Loneliness’s ‘Lessons from Lockdown: Loneliness in the time of Covid-19’ report. The research found that the groups most likely to experience chronic loneliness during lockdown were:

  • People who reported their health to be ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’
  • Disabled people
  • People with an underlying health condition
  • Single people
  • People who were divorced or separated from a civil partner
  • Adults of working age living alone
  • People living in rented accommodation
  • People who live alone
  • Carers and those receiving care
  • Those with sight and hearing loss
  • People living in poverty
  • People from minority groups (e.g., people from some Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups or LGBT+ people)

This helpful research clearly shows that many, many people in the UK are at risk of loneliness. It also helps bust the myths that loneliness only affects elderly people living alone. Those from all sorts of walks of life can be affected and deserve to be protected.  

How to tackle loneliness

The good news is, loneliness can be combated. In another report, Promising Approaches

Revisited, Campaign to End Loneliness identified three types of activities that can help reduce loneliness:

  • Those that seek to improve the quality of relationships – helping people connect
  • more often and more meaningfully
  • Those that increase the quantity of relationships – helping people to make new friends
  • Those that help people to think differently about their relationships, so they feel less of a gap between what they have and what they want

So how can you apply these findings right now, as lockdown comes to an end, and help your loved ones stay happy and connected?

Here are some top tips for fighting loneliness after lockdown:

  • Visit your loved one in person, to help them get used to in-person contact again
  • Take them for a walk around the local neighbourhood to get them reacquainted with their environment, and maybe call on a few neighbours together to strengthen existing relationships and even forge some new ones
  • Keep up the messages and video calls, so your loved ones still have access to ‘little and often’ togetherness, as well as bigger get-togethers
  • Talk to your loved one about how they’re feeling about their relationships, so you can help them take steps to enjoy more meaningful connections

Find a local companion to visit your loved one

As research shows, making new friends is vital to warding off loneliness. Why not find your loved one some companionship and friendship via the companiions app?

Our trusted befriending service brings together people who need a little help or companionship through our safe network, quickly, easily and safely.

To get started, simply download the companiions app and sign up.