Did you know according to the Office of National Statistics, (https://bit.ly/385WFu8) there are about 8 million or about 15% of the population living on their own as of 2019 in the UK? Being single knows no age, gender, demographic or cultural boundaries. It may be by choice or for other reasons and every time an announcement is made this huge proportion of the UK population is ignored.
The Office of National Statistics also states that people living on their own spend an average of 92% of their disposable income, compare with two-adult households who spend only 83% of theirs, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis of the expenditure of 25- to 64-year-olds.
People living alone are more likely to be renting, and feel less financially secure than couples without children, with fewer reporting they have money left over at the end of the week or month. And the costs are not just financial: when it comes to well-being, those living on their own report lower levels of happiness and higher levels of anxiety than those living together with a partner and no children.
Why are single households forgotten?
My question is why are single households forgotten when the government addresses this pandemic remembering that some people will go days without seeing anyone! After speaking to several friends and clients who live on their own I wanted to share some thoughts about what it is like to live alone in the time of COVID. I was surprised, inspired, motivated and amazed at the fabulous techniques they use to keep positive by living each day to the full.
With government announcements telling we will be going into lockdown again it feels a bit like Groundhog Day! The need to control this pandemic is essential but is making the single person feel isolated the answer? You can form a bubble with one other but what does that really mean? We can meet for a walk, go to work but only see one person outside.
I am one of the lucky ones, I live in a flat and have social interactions daily as people get out and about to get some air they always stop and say hello when out for a walk, our estate managers checks on neighbours and we help each other out whether that is doing shopping, sharing baking or lending an ear to make sure those on their own are OK.
Some people will be on furlough so spending huge amounts of time on their own, being worried about their job or finding a new one and sometimes feeling very isolated and find they have no social outlet. How would you feel? What would you do to maintain equilibrium and sanity?
Taking all that into account I wanted to share some of the tips people are using to keep focused, healthy and sane. Having a positive attitude when dealing with challenging times is one way to keep moving forward.
Inspiring Suggestions for Singles!
- Daily COVID plan – A friend established 3 things to do daily –including reaching out to someone else who was also on their own.
- Form a support group having one or two people around us to speak to daily or weekly is wonderful so try and create one. Surrounding yourself with positive people is essential
- Exercise was top tip from everyone and one example stood out for me with a friend whose loved swimming and when the pool reopened she spent 2 hours per day in a pool where to book a lane and sometimes find you are the only one there! One day she was in the pool along so the lifeguard put on amazing classical music – it released all sorts of emotion but the appreciation for finally being able to use a pool again was overwhelming
- Morning Qigong (https://bit.ly/2TOMmC6) helped me get a quick start to the day it was energy boosting, decreased stress and helped keep me positive and, focused when helping others.
- Baking was a hit especially making bread, as the kneading was fantastic to vent their frustration, feel better and end of up with your own bread! If you want to learn how check out a virtual course!
- Music was another tool to soothe the soul. One friend has learned to play the piano through virtual teaching and is amazed at how quickly she progressed
- Watching the news once per day and try to not get addicted to the doom and gloom of social media and various news reports
- Walking is incredible check out this workout (https://bit.ly/34ROnDO).
Actions to keep you motivated during Lockdown
Suggest doing one of these activities daily.
- Count your blessings, at the end of each day write down or say out loud 3 things that made you smile that day. It could be anything?
- When you are out for a walk a run or a bike ride take the earphones out, breathe, look around you, nature is an incredible healer,
- Smile at the first person you see (it will make their day and make you feel better)
- Stop for a moment and be thankful.
- We cannot control anything except how we respond to any given situation it is all about having a positive attitude which will help each of us come through the other side.
- Make it a daily action to pick up the phone and speak to someone you know is on their own.
- At the end of the day we all need support whether we are part of a family or on our own.
- As Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift’
Be part of the solution, treasure every moment and blessing. If we help and respect each other we will get through this ‘Ground hog day we call COVID.