Tips for reducing loneliness in winter

 

social awareness

©SolStock - iStock

People with hearing impairment should take the right steps to put together a coping strategy to combat loneliness in winter.

Here are six key steps recommended by BIHIMA (British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association) and the loneliness charity, Marmalade Trust. Read the thoughts of these and other involved bodies here.

© Marmalade Trust     Martin Green, Regional Director


©PWt Paul Surridge, Chairman of BIHIMA

1. Remember you’re not alone 

"Loneliness is likely to be experienced by all of us at some point in our lives and talking to others about it can remind us that it’s a totally normal thing to feel. It could be a nice idea to have a frank and honest conversation with someone you trust about times when you might have experienced loneliness and be open to hearing their experiences too." - Martin Green, the Marmalade Trust.

2. Keep moving 

 
©Tatsiana Hancharova - iStock      Keep moving! A key tip for coping with the lonely winter days.

"Being active releases chemicals in the brain that can help us to feel better. For those with hearing loss, engaging in sporting activities - especially those in a group - is a great way to minimise propensity for loneliness. UK Deaf Sport has a directory which signposts people to activities in their local area and provides an excellent way to meet other people with hearing loss." - Paul Surridge, BIHIMA

3. Take a social media break  

"It’s proven that the more time you spend on social media, the greater your social anxiety becomes. It’s sometimes hard to stop comparing ourselves to others. But remember that things aren’t always what they seem from the outside. Take a break from all these channels where festive cheer is at an exaggerated high, and instead spend the time nurturing your own passions and interests." - Martin Green, the Marmalade Trust. 

4. Spread some festive cheer 

 
©Vladimir Vladimirov      Can you volunteer to help a charity and make some new friends?

"We know that coming to terms with hearing loss can feel very isolating, especially after diagnosis. Even once hearing instruments have been fitted, there’s a transition period that can leave the wearer feeling detached. Volunteering can be a brilliant way to gently step back into the mainstream world. There are countless hearing loss charities that are in need of compassionate volunteers, particularly if they have a personal connection to hearing loss." - Paul Surridge, BIHIMA. 

5. Make a new tradition 

"While the festive period can feel like a time full of social pressures, it’s also a time when opportunities to try new activities increase tenfold! Have a look at the festive offerings in your area, and don’t be afraid to go along by yourself – take advantage of the chance to meet and chat with new people." - Martin Green, the Marmalade Trust. 

6. Communicate to your family and friends how they can better support you.

 
©Juanmonino

"Our UK EuroTrak data study found that two of the biggest influences on someone who is seeking treatment or support for hearing loss are their partner or an audiologist. This shows that people connected to someone with hearing loss have a role to play. It’s important to speak to loved ones about how they can best support you; both in the way they communicate and emotionally. This will look different for everyone, so take the time to consider what you need."- Paul Surridge, BIHIMA.

Source: BIHIMA/Marmalade Trust

P.W.