Loneliness has become common in recent times, with more people than ever feeling disconnected and isolated. A problem even before COVID-19, loneliness has been exacerbated over the past 18 months of the pandemic.
Today, I talk about this problem. I share research on how common loneliness is, explain all of the reasons this matters, and talk about what we can do about it. I note the effects on young people in particular, I make a distinction between loneliness and being alone, and I list the health consequences of loneliness. I note the power of fostering quality relationships (as opposed to simply being around a lot of people), I explain why it’s effective to focus on others, and I address the need to destigmatise loneliness. Finally, if you’re in a good place mentally and emotionally, I call on you to reach out to one person this week that you’re concerned about.
“There’s another pandemic brewing in the wake of COVID-19: I’m talking about the pandemic of loneliness, triggered by factors like working from home, social isolation, feeling disconnected, feeling left out.”
– Dr. Mark Rowe
This week on In the Doctor’s Chair
- Research on loneliness
- The effects of COVID-19 on loneliness
- Loneliness vs being alone
- The mental and physical health consequences of loneliness
- The power of quality relationships
- The power of focusing on others
- Destigmatising and de-shaming loneliness