• LGBT+ Hinckley - Martin Bowie

Loneliness Awareness Week - Guest Blog

This week is Loneliness Awareness Week hosted by the Marmalade Trust. #LetsTalkLoneliness

At the moment there are so many struggling with loneliness in this lockdown. No human contact and being alone with your own thoughts can be a very dangerous place for some who maybe suffering from poor mental health or with a mental illness.

But it also made me think about the loneliness of living in an environment where you can’t be the person that you know you are. Where you have to hide the side of you that is all about love because the environment you are in tells you it is wrong. You can be surrounded by a whole family of people but also feel so incredibly lonely.

The creator of LGBT+ Hinckley, Martin Bowie, shared his coming out story with us at the Happy Thoughts Academy and I’ll be honest, it broke my heart. I’m sure so many of you have had to go through a similar situation and I just want you to know that you have so many people out here who are your allies and who love you for you, including us all here at the Happy Thoughts Academy.

I got the newsletter update to say the website had been updated so I took a little scroll through and was amazed by the “Quick Escape”, What a fabulous idea! Instantly then hit by such a sadness that this button has to even exist. What an amazing group LGBT+ Hinckley has created and it is definitely something to be celebrated, not just this #PrideMonth but every second of everyday because LOVE IS LOVE.

So, for those of you that may be suffering with loneliness at any time, we have come up with some ideas for you.

· Reach out to your tribes that understand you. Knowing you are not alone and you are not wrong when you are constantly being told you are is essential to keep on top of your self-esteem.According to Age UK: “Research shows that older LGBT people are especially vulnerable to loneliness as they are more likely to be single, live alone, and have lower levels of contact with relatives.” Why not reach out to them and save each other’s loneliness.LGBT+ Hinckley have their incredible “talk to us” button, taking you straight to Facebook messenger. They also have a social space which enables you to head to their Facebook group.

· Hug yourself. It releases endorphins in our brain and as Elle Woods once said “endorphins make you happy”.

· Video call as much as you are able. Science suggests that a video call makes us feel much closer to people than a usual audio cal. If you are conscious of who you are talking to, pop some headphones in.

· Positive affirmations. The law of attraction teaches us that what we put out there comes back to us and what we think becomes the truth. There was a study that showed a group who completed a gym workout 3 times a week for 2 weeks and a group that listened to a guided meditation of the same action had incredibly similar results in muscle growth at the end of the experiment. Our thoughts are incredibly powerful. So, tell yourself ‘you deserve love’, ‘you are worth it’ and ‘your world is filled with people who love you’.

· Dance. If we are feeling low, the music goes on and we dance around the room! Put your headphones and go for it! We have a few different playlists of Spotify including Pride, Inspiration,Meditation and Mood Booster.

· Reach out to mental health app or organisations. We have an external link and urgent help section on our website along with the incredible Directory on the LGBT+ website. There is also a self referral form if you feel you may benefit from therapy at the LGBT foundation. I believe they usually deal with the North West, however they have gone online as part of their coronavirus service. We also have our own contact us tab if you would like to talk to us, we are here.

Stay safe both physically, emotionally and mentally at this time and just remember that we love you!

Love from Charlotte at the Happy Thoughts Academy