Half of the population feel lonelier now than ever before in their life, says study

The last time Brits met with a friend was four months ago according to new data Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Due to the pandemic, Brits haven’t met with a friend for four months, on average.

The nation hasn’t seen family for over three months either, which is just one factor contributing to the sad statistic that 55% of us are lonelier now than we’ve ever been in our lives.

Having a social life for many is an integral part of maintaining mental wellbeing and fulfillment, and Buzz Bingo’s research shows that 20% of us are learning to value our community more now that friends further afield are out of reach.

Londoners, it turns out, are feeling the loneliest. 71% say they’ve felt alone during the coronavirus pandemic, which is 14% above the national average when compared with other parts of the country.

48% of dwellers in the capital say this is because they live alone, more than anywhere else in the UK.

As well as doing the obvious things such as picking up the phone and using social media to check in with people, Dr Rob Hicks suggests looking out for local community initiatives so you can connect with new people that live close by.

Video calls, messaging platforms and interactive apps have been a saving grace for many, as shown by the findings that 58% of Brits say technology is helping them deal with feelings of loneliness.

The absence of technology for some older generations is concerning people too.

45% of Brits feel anxious about elderly relatives and neighbours who can’t use technology to stay in touch with loved ones.

Despite this, the age group perhaps most acquainted with technology is the one that feels the loneliest – millennials feel lonelier than any other generation.

Nearly three-quarters say they’ve felt alone in the last year, again 17% above the national average.

A separate study by Ubamarket claims that 50% of Brits say their weekly supermarket shop is vital in combatting feelings of isolation and loneliness, showing people are seeking out minor in-person interaction to feel more connected.

At a time of national lockdown, the opportunities for this are in most cases limited, or aren’t legal.

We know that lockdown will impact on the nation’s mental health, but feelings of loneliness when the nation goes back to the tier system will likely linger given that social lives for many will still be on hold.

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