In the middle of May each year is Mental Health Awareness Week. This year the theme is loneliness, as many people have been experiencing loneliness during the pandemic and even now.
Loneliness and mental health
Loneliness was highlighted during the pandemic and lockdown, where many people altruistically isolated themselves for the benefit of the public and to reduce the strain on the NHS.
As social creatures though, many found this isolation and loneliness difficult. In fact, by some accounts, people actually moved in with partners they had not known for long to mitigate potential loneliness.
Living with people, connecting with others, and being part of a community can reduce loneliness.
Ways to connect
During the pandemic, a way I was able to stay connected with people was to play video games online. Throwing banana skins at friends in Mario Kart or surreptitiously sabotaging missions in Among Us allowed me to reconnect – and stay connected – with people.
Zoom calls were the rage, but we are all aware of Zoom fatigue – and I definitely felt that. Reconnecting with people in silly ways enabled me to maintain connections without the tiredness of always having to maintain a constant flow of dialogue.
Other ways to connect can be:
- sharing music;
- talking about a TV show or film;
- sharing hobbies;
- joining a book club.
Mental Health Awareness Week
My work have been quite open about this week and I received a nice wellness care package too.
I’m looking forward to writing in my new focus journal!
Work also held a fireside chat with one of the top dog execs discussing his mental health and released blog content of colleagues sharing their personal stories of mental health and loneliness.
I really appreciate that my workplace are advocating for mental health and mental health awareness. I feel the more we talk about it, the more it becomes the norm; and prevention is better than cure.
I still have much to learn about mental health and I’m actively trying to change my own behaviours to establish better mental well being. I do this for myself and for others, as you can’t pour from an empty cup.
This week has been good in raising more awareness and to kickstart my journey as I train to become a Mental Health First Aider.