Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, has echoed calls from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Breda Smyth, for the public to stop isolating and start socialising again. The charity said the “Pandemic hangover” has led to high levels of loneliness across the country. Turn2Me has published three tips on how to get back to socialising on its website, Turn2Me.ie
“Humans are a social species, we are tribal in nature,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said, “Our levels of social engagements were rapidly reduced during the lockdown. Low levels of socialising over a long period can have a detrimental impact on our mental health. Many people might find it difficult socialising again after such a long period in isolation, which is why we have published three tips on how to handle this on our website.”
Turn2Me’s first tip is to reach out to friends or family sooner rather than later. The charity said the longer we put off socialising, the more difficult it can become. The second tip is to arrange at least one social engagement a week, because having regular social interactions will get you back into the habit of socialising. The third tip is to arrange to meet people who put you in a good mood, so that the social engagement is something you’ll look forward to.
Turn2Me stated that it’s totally normal to have a bit of social anxiety when coming out of isolation. The charity runs free weekly support groups on anxiety, which are available on its website, Turn2Me.ie