Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and have been off work long term since January. One of the big problems I’ve faced has been loneliness.
I’ve found a few things to alleviate this problem. One thing is to make it clear to all my friends and family that they are welcome to invite themselves around or to just pop in. I’ve been socialising with other people who are unwell, or who are off work for another reason; maybe they’re on maternity leave, or retired. You don’t just have to socialise in person either, which is great news if you can’t get out because of fatigue or pain. Texting, phoning and social media are all great ways to catch up with friends and brighten your day!
After my most recent relapse though, I discovered a way to socialise that I haven’t used in years. I’ve been struggling to grip with my right hand because of pain on the right hand side of my body, and as I’m right handed this caused all kinds of problems! I keep dropping things, I’m taking a long time to do normal jobs, and writing by hand was nearly impossible!
My physio insisted that I practice things that are difficult, to remind my nerves what they were supposed to feel. So I decided to write some letters by hand to cheer up some friends. I had six greetings cards knocking about, so I offered to write to the first 6 Facebook friends who wanted a card.
It was incredibly therapeutic to write letters. Physically speaking, it got easier as I went on, though I needed a break between each card, and it took me most of the day. Emotionally however, it was so lovely to put other people first, and think of ways to encourage or cheer up people I love!
This is definitely going to be an ongoing therapy for me, as more than 6 people wanted cards in the end. I’ll have to watch the cost of the stamps though!
If you’re feeling lonely today, why not try writing a letter? Write to someone who’s helped you, to someone who you’ve not spoken to in a while, or just ask who’d like a letter. After all, we all love getting nice surprises in the post.