I’m feeling really lonely at the moment. I’m craving the outside world and meeting new people. Today I’d be quite happy mooching around a city, visiting a gallery, stopping for coffee, looking in the shops and doing some people watching. It’s funny because I expect the city dwellers are dreaming of my life in the countryside! This third lockdown is hard for everyone. But it won’t last. This to shall pass.

Loneliness is a funny old thing. I live in a house with three other people but I feel lonely. I’m unfortunately trapped in a bad living situation that will be resolved soon. I feel claustrophobic and spend a lot of time on my own in my bedroom feeling a bit sad. It won’t last forever, but I have to work hard not to let it get me down.

Here are my top tips for beating loneliness:

Know that you’re not alone. You have friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours, a community of people that care about you. So if you’re feeling lonely pick up the phone or text someone.

Get outside. You will bump into someone for a chat. My lonely days are lifted by these brief encounters with people out walking.

Use social media to forge connections. Instagram is great for positivity and being inspired by the lovely things people are doing. Facebook is great for promoting events like food markets which are still going on.

Read something. Lose yourself in a beautiful novel or read a book on positivity or self-development. I just finished The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, it’s wonderful and uplifting. If you have mental health issues you should read it.

Go food shopping. This is a pretty sad one, I normally get my food shopping delivered, so actually going out to the shops is like a huge adventure!

Plan a trip. We won’t be locked down forever. Plan your next trip. It’ll give you something to look forward to and you will meet new people wherever you go. I’m going to look for a trek for charity to sign up for.

Sign up for a virtual event. There are loads of awesome events going on at the moment. Yes I know we’re all sick of Zoom calls but doesn’t a virtual tour of somewhere like Buckingham Palace or The Guggenheim sound interesting?

I’ll add to this list if I think of anything else. Know that you’re not alone and sometimes you have to be the one to take the first step and make new connections. Much love J xxx

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