Winter Warmer

Kindling Connection: The Power of Warmth in Beating Winter Loneliness.

Guest blogger Hannah Walters talks about ways you can stay warm this winter as well as keeping socially connected.  

Staying in touch with people as the winter months roll in, can prove to be quite a challenge, which can often lead to feelings of isolation.

Being warm can help us to feel less lonely and make us more likely to seek out social interactions, according to research from the State University of New York and Florida State University.

Why does winter trigger feelings of loneliness?

Winter can be a very lonely season for some, partly because we tend to socialise less. Reduced exposure to natural daylight can often lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression linked to seasonal changes.

The connection between mental health and winter

When we are warm, we trigger the release of the oxytocin hormone, which is responsible for fighting feelings of both depression and anxiety. That is why our mental health can be far better, and our resilience improved, with regular exposure.

Feeling lonely can also make us feel cold

The University of Toronto did a study that showed people who remember feeling lonely and left out had a body temperature that was three degrees lower than people who remember more positive social connections.

Here are some ways you can stay warm this winter as well as keeping socially connected

  • Warm clothing (even indoors)
  • Wear slippers or thick socks
  • Light candles to make the atmosphere cosier
  • Try a workout or yoga
  • Use blankets for extra warmth
  • The winter season might not feel like an ideal time to connect with people but at Together Co we have been matching people and creating valuable friendships for more than 20 years.

    Some other things you can do are

    Join a social club where you can connect with like-minded people with similar interests to your own. Volunteer at your local community centre – this will allow you to do your bit but also connect with lots of other people Schedule calls with friends and family you may not see very often Ask a neighbour if they would like to go for a walk, even in winter this can be a fantastic way to stay active and get out in the fresh air. If you’d like to get more information on Together Co’s befriending services, get in touch at hello@togetherco.org.uk

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