Over the coming months, many of us will see our social relationships with family, friends, colleagues and others return to some form of normal. However isolation and loneliness are not limited to the pandemic.
Social isolation does not need to mean socially isolated and quite often the things you do to help yourself will also help others.
Our Chief Executive, Aileen, has been posting regular video updates to staff, simply telling us how she is getting on and sharing ideas. We have found this very thoughtful and in a similar vein, our Programme Support Officer suggests sending video or voice messages instead of texts to friends.
Aileen is also sending cards to friends: “If they are not expecting it, a surprise card can really brighten their day and make them feel special.”
Festivals and anniversaries provide excellent opportunities to pick up the phone and call people you have not spoken to in a while, to write a personal message in a card or to get the family involved in a video message.
Recognising the isolation of working from home, staff often call colleagues they have not heard from in a while and it’s so nice to know that they called just for a chat and to see how you are.
Social media continues to be a welcome tool for helping people stay connected and it can be lovely to see what people have been doing and to smile over the thoughtful or humorous things they post. Still, it is advised to not spend too long each day on social media or following the news. Far better to have an occasional catch up and then move on to something else.
A lot of people have started using Zoom and other platforms for keeping in touch, and with families now often dispersed we have learnt skills that will help us both now and into the future. While some people enjoy a chat, others like the challenge of a quiz with friends. There are many free online quizzes to choose from.
The Financial Wellbeing Manager has discovered 'Among Us', a fast-paced murder-mystery game to play online with friends and work out who done it.
If you are thinking about getting out and about, lots of our staff are enjoying walking around their local community, especially taking a break over lunch or after work.
The Electrical Delivery Manager says: “It’s a good way meet new people, make use of local shops and services and to feel more connected and part of the community.”