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Coming together (online) to battle loneliness


One in three people feels lonely from time to time. Yes, that is quite a lot indeed. And in this time of ‘social distancing’, the number is even higher since going to work or dropping by a friend every day is impossible for the time being.

Despite loneliness being rife, we talk about it very rarely. Do you know someone who is lonely, or are you personally dealing with loneliness sometimes? In that case, you should take action because the good news is that loneliness is fairly easy to resolve, even now. This article tells you how to recognize it and what you can do about it. 

People who feel lonely often experience a sense of emptiness, sadness, fear, and meaninglessness. Sometimes, they suffer from sleeplessness or low appetite. What is often forgotten, is that loneliness also has an impact on your physical health. It can cause physical problems like tiredness, headaches, and shortness of breath. Do you recognize these signals? Loneliness might be the cause.


The elderly are vulnerable

The elderly are an at-risk group for coronavirus infection and are currently mostly forced to self-isolate and stay at home. This can make them feel lonely very quickly. Many elderly citizens are lonely and the older they get, the greater the risk of loneliness. And even what little social contact they might have had has now been made impossible by the coronavirus outbreak. It might become a serious problem for the elderly, for instance, because their life partner has passed away or their children are far away. If they also lose an important social moment in their lives, such as a weekly game of cards, grocery shopping at the supermarket or local store, or the household help who stops coming due to the risk of infection, people become lonely all too easily.


Being young or single

Contrary to common belief, loneliness is not only a problem for the elderly. People of all ages can feel lonely. Young people can feel lonely because they have trouble initiating or maintaining contacts, receive little social support, or suffer from low self-esteem. These are difficult times for this group of people, as well as many other young people and singles due to social isolation, particularly since social activities like going to school or the office, going to the gym, or dropping by the family are impossible.


Coming together (online) to battle loneliness

Fortunately, we can all do something to drive away loneliness, even now. While it may be impossible to go for a social visit or outing, there are still plenty of options online. Family and friends are closer than ever with WhatsApp and people can easily make and maintain friendships via Facebook. Video calling allows you to have that drink or meal together after all, and the HouseParty app even makes it possible to have video calls and play games online.