It’s fair to say that our lives changed quite dramatically in 2020. Dealing with a global pandemic has led many more of us to work from home, be separated (physically) from our friends and family and to actively avoid any kind of social situation where we may interact with others. It’s unsurprising therefore that a possible outcome of long term working from home, and social distancing, is that employees may experience isolation.
The good news is that there’s lots that can be done to combat feelings of loneliness caused by isolation and sometimes it really is the small things that can make a difference.
Whether it’s virtual meet-ups, check-ins or after work gatherings, it helps bring routine in to the day and create a sense of community – something that is often missing when remote working becomes the norm.
For many people having the confidence to ask for help is unnerving, and can be seen as a weakness, but talking to your manager will make them aware of how you are feeling and can stop it affecting your work.
While loneliness isn’t itself a recognised mental health problem, there is a strong relationship between feeling lonely and having poorer mental wellbeing. Tackling the simple things in life – making sure you get enough sleep and eating healthy – will mean you have the strength and resilience to help prevent any feelings of loneliness becoming overwhelming.
Engaging in physical activity, whether it’s a run, jog, walk or simply a dance around your kitchen, can boost your mood. Building physical activity into your daily routine, even if it’s just a short walk around the block at lunchtime, can go a long way to stop yourself feeling so lonely. You might enjoy exercising with others where possible within current social distancing rules, or it could be a group online training session.