This morning, my father sat down in his usual spot with tea in one hand and over buttered toast and jam in the other listening to his raspy untuned radio. It’s a ritual that he repeats every morning.
Today, the voice from the radio informed us that more and more of us are taking solo holidays to manage and support our wellbeing. A mocking tone in his voice, the presenter talked about how ridiculous we have all become as a nation.
Some of us are taking holidays to get away from the people we love. To reboot and repair ourselves.
I have read lots of threads from parents seeking any kind of private time away from their families. Nothing new really. There are hilarious stories about adults retreating to toilets to escape the constant requests from children or partners. We mock and joke about our desire for private time. In contrast, some of us regularly share photos of solo trips around the UK or beyond.
But, increasingly we are a nation of lonely people with growing referrals to gp surgeries for people experiencing isolation.
I recently completed a study about a local area and its “wellbeing” as a community. It is a fascinating concept. What began as a study about young people and their wellbeing, quickly became an exploration of community wellbeing and how we as a collective people work to support one another. It is virtually impossible to explore and develop plans to support children and young people’s wellbeing without looking at the whole picture. With half of all mental illness beginning by the age of 14, its gonna take a village, a town, a community to work together to support one another better. Shockingly, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
From speaking to members of the community, the overwhelming comments where that people do like to connect with one another. Slow down and take time to notice.
Just talk. Connect. Take notice.
Share stuff and be kind to people.
Check in with your neighbours, the ones that you see and the ones that you don’t.