We already have a lot of social isolation in our communities especially with those living on their own. Stress, anxiety and depression remain at high levels for people living alone, with a lower household income or with a diagnosed mental health condition.
We have now all experienced and still experiencing it, but what has that meant in regards to our wellbeing?
For everyone it has meant a loss of face-to-face social interaction. Most of us have been able to keep in touch through modern technology, but this is no substitute for human touch, such as holding hands or hugging or massage.
One of the key themes is a feeling of loss. For some, this has meant a loss of income. For others it has meant a loss of structure and routine as people struggle to balance working from home with childcare. For those of us who stopped working reported worse mental and physical health conditions as well as distress.
The first thing on my return from furlough was to produce the magazine Tenants in Touch. For me it was a strange environment to work as my usual bustle of editors were not there. I reflected on my time and what helped me manage my anxiety and stress and for me it was taking the dogs for a walk, making bread and painting.
Physical losses are having a knock-on effect in the form of emotional 'losses," such as a loss of self-worth, loss of motivation and a loss of meaning in daily life.
Those who felt that they belonged to their neighbourhood and who trusted their neighbours had lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Having spoken to friends and fellow workers wellbeing has also increased, with people reporting higher levels of satisfaction with their life. Spending time at home has meant the busy, hectic rat race stopped and allowed us to take a moment and reflect.
The key message is that it’s ok not to be ok and we are all in this together! If you are struggling, please talk, whether that is to someone in your family, friends or to us and we can help signpost you in the right direction.
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