Loneliness – Mental Health Awareness Week….

9-15 May 2022 is the Mental Health Foundation’s 21st awareness week on a particular mental health theme. This year’s theme is loneliness.

Not to be confused with being alone, a choice many make and flourish working remotely, living alone, shopping and banking online. It suits them completely. They are not lonely.

Loneliness is not a choice. People can be in a crowded room and still feel lonely. Over time, this feeling can grow and the noise of feeling lonely overwhelms and can impact all areas of someone’s life. The consequences can be devastating for the individual and those closest to them.

Recognising our body’s reaction when loneliness starts to intrude, enables us to do something about it – make arrangements to see friends, do something different with others – an art class maybe. Whatever our self-care toolkit is, we need to move quickly. The mind is a powerful tool designed to keep us safe. To do this, it overthinks negativity to such an extent we can become completely numb and unable to move if we ignore it.

Having our own, bespoke self-care toolkit ready for use when we need a bit of maintenance, in the same way we keep a toolkit for DIY repairs on our homes, is vital. It enables us to be proactive about our mind’s wellbeing which in turn enables us to be aware of any changes in those around us and be effective in guiding them.

Next week I will make a daily post on a specific area of mind wellbeing I’ve practised and taught over the past 15 years on my Twitter and LinkedIn pages in celebration of this vital awareness week.

What will you consider doing to honour this week?

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