Do you 'get' lonely? By building our understanding of it, we can help ourselves and others to manage the feeling.
Loneliness Awareness Week (14-18 June), ran by UK Charity, Marmalade Trust, aims to raise awareness of loneliness and support each other to find new social connections.
Chronic loneliness is one of the biggest health concerns we face, and it's on the rise. Nine million people in the UK - more than the population of London - are always or often lonely.
Loneliness can affect us at any point in our lives and has been a big issue over the last year. With social distancing, isolating and shielding, we have all felt lonely and vulnerable throughout the pandemic at one stage or another. So there is no better time to raise awareness and help each other with this overwhelming feeling.
We all feel lonely at times - it's a normal human emotion. You don't have to be alone to be lonely either - you could be in a relationship, spending lots of times with friends and family or have a house full of children. You can still feel lonely, especially if you don't feel understood or cared for by the people around you.
There are different types of loneliness, including:
Most of us will experience loneliness at some point in our lives, regardless of age, circumstance and background. There are lots of key life moments which will increase the likelihood of feeling lonely, for example:
There has been lots of research on the effects of loneliness on our mental and physical health, and it has been linked to early deaths and an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, cognitive decline and poor sleep.
If you or someone you know are struggling with loneliness, there are lots of things you can do: