My Instagram post turned out to be so long I've also shared it here as a blog post...
"Loneliness is the negative feeling we have when there is a mismatch between the relationships we have and the relationships we need. This means that it can be different for all of us."
This is a really helpful point from the Mental Health Foundation. We all need different things to feel fulfilled, and this includes in our relationships.
Have you seen the #IveBeenThere campaign this week?
1. Share a photo of a time you felt lonely and nobody knew.
3. Tag @mentalhealthfoundation
It was actually really hard to find a photo of me which represents loneliness - we usually take photos when we're with people don't we?! The classic illusion of social media making everything look perfect, all of the time...
So I chose this one of a gorgeous hot afternoon at Potager Garden last summer which was like a 'respite' from quite an isolating time for me last year. I was really struggling with purposelessness a lot of the time, but luckily I had one or two very special people around me which was so, so valued in a lonely time and this photo reminds me of a lovely day we had together.
It's also really nice to reflect that I rarely feel lonely any more! My life has got busier again and I'm more content with where I am and who I'm spending time with. The aim of this campaign is also to reflect that things change with time - we've all been there at some point - as well as spreading awareness of loneliness and that we can help each other thorough it.
Now that we're more able to meet up safely again, there are so many amazing groups in Cornwall to support anyone feeling a little lonely. I'm involved with Quiet Connections who host quiet meet-ups in Cornwall, and I know there are lots of other meet-ups too, either for a coffee/tea or a more structured activity. Your Voice and Man Down are both sharing circles for women and men respectively. There are also online groups for people who work remotely or are self-employed which I found really helpful.
This year, I had an amazing community of people at SSE Cornwall where we supported each other (many self employed) through lockdown on the Lloyds Start-Up course, and I also realised the value of online sessions like @breathpod which create a sense of 'togetherness' through a group breathing practice. (All of these are free, so hopefully really accessible).
Since January this year, I've also been to She Flows women's circles which have also been so nourishing and created deep connections as we hold space for each other to listen and share. It can sometimes be the hardest thing to join something new when you're feeling low, but often just what you need. 🤍
This has turned into a very long post, but I wanted to offer some gratitude for my antidotes to loneliness too. Sending lots of love out - and a reminder that you're always welcome on our free wellbeing walks (usually Friday at 2pm but follow FB/Eventbrite for exact times and locations) and workshops which will be listed online.
See you soon! Be kind to each other,