What is loneliness?
Loneliness is the feeling of being disconnected from others and the world around us.
It is a normal human emotion that every person will experience at some point in their lives. 3.3 million people said they were 'chronically lonely' in November 2021, despite lock-down restrictions easing (ONS).
We must work together to re-embed social connection into day-to-day life and help everyone recover from the pandemic.
Loneliness is different to being alone.
Often, loneliness is feeling like we don’t and can’t ‘fit in’ or that we haven’t found our tribe. It's easy to compare ourselves to others and feel on the outside; but often people hold back their struggles to not feel vulnerable.
We all experience ups and downs. Sharing how you are feeling can help you and others, connect, and overcome difficulties.
Loneliness and our mental health
Loneliness can be brought about by many different things and can affect people differently. Experiencing bereavement, moving home or even changes in weather can cause people to feel lonely. While feeling lonely is not a mental health problem, mental health problems can lead to feelings of loneliness and vice-versa.
For example, if you suffer from depression, you may not have the energy or motivation to meet people, you may not feel worthy of treating and caring for yourself and you may feel further isolated by the intense emotions you are experiencing. All these things can lead to increased feelings of loneliness.
Reconnecting to overcome loneliness
In recent years, more people have experienced feelings of loneliness than ever before. This is why creating welcoming, local community networks is more important than ever.
Recent research has shown living in a vibrant community gives people a sense of belonging, which reduces the risk of mental health issues, lowers heart disease mortality, and contributes to better overall health.
Another study found that when people were able to see trees or the sky, or hear birds, feelings of loneliness fell by 28%.
Roots to Wellbeing
Roots to Wellbeing is a programme with connection at its heart.
It is about reconnecting with yourself, with your neighbours and with the nature on your doorstep.
Often, when you are feeling lonely, it can feel overwhelming and hard to motivate yourself to seek out mood-boosting activities.
Roots to Wellbeing is a weekly outdoor activity that is local, easy to access and relaxed.
Modern life demands so much of our time and mental energy.
Often, we don’t have the time to just be in the moment and experience life’s little joys: the warm sun on your face, the smell of beautiful flowers or just a good cup of tea!
Roots to Wellbeing is a weekly break from past struggles or future worries. It is also an opportunity to feel useful, do something positive and feel a part of something.
We give back to nature, wildlife, and the community by enhancing the park; planting wildflower meadows, pruning fruit trees or protecting natural habitats.
We also take part in short, guided meditations and wellbeing activities like photography and painting.