Grief and Loneliness in Isolation 

Grief can be a very dangerous thing and due to the current situation, millions of people have found themselves lacking in one of the basic core human needs, physical connection with other humans. 

We are wired from birth to have connection, along with the need for water, food and shelter. Through human evolution we have developed into even more social beings and need to feel a sense of connection and belonging. 

In the past, dependence on and cooperation with other people enhanced our ability to survive. Lack of such connections can lead to problems including loneliness, which can become a persuasive and chronic condition, with serious mental and physical conditions. 

In no particular order, but these can include: 

  • Depression – Prolonged periods of sadness, loss or interest in previously enjoyable activities. 
  • Substance Abuse – Commonly alcohol or drugs. 
  • Poor Sleep and Lack of Appetite – Difficulty in falling asleep, or being restless through the night. 
  • Suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviour. 
  • Paired Immune System meaning you are more susceptible to diseases. 
  • Heart Disease and Stroke.  
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Many people who have been told they are ‘High Risk’ of complications during the pandemic have been self-isolating, or shielding alone for over three months and more. Particularly the elderly who are already at risk of loneliness 

Technology has played a wonderful part, however it is nowhere near as beneficial as physical human contact. 

Being able to mirror and read body language, and feel the energy in a room from another person, is more beneficial than often realised. 

The importance of social connections is so strong, or experience other social pain, our brains hurt in the same way we do when we feel physical pain. We don’t expect someone with a broken leg to ‘just get over it’. Yet when it comes to the pain of social loss, this is a common and mistaken response. 

It is important that we work hard to make sure that those human connections form again as soon as possible, and make the effort to assist those who we know have been isolating alone. 

Even if social distancing remains in place for the foreseeable future for the ‘high risk’ group, and just being able to sit across a table from them and talk face to face and just share a coffee or bring a picnic, and eat a meal together will be so ‘powerful’. 

Focusing on ‘what you can give to others’ is a proven way to both feel better about yourself and more connected to others, pass by for ten minutes, or a doorstep call, or a phone call, that will be enough to help someone isolated to feel connected and reduce their risk of long-term physical and mental health problems due to loneliness. 

Below are some charities who specialise in this type of work with the contact details. 

Samaritans:   Telephone Number: 116 123 

Age Concern:   Telephone: 0116 299 2233 

Local charity in Gloucestershire: 01452 422971 

As always, do not hesitate to contact us.