Loneliness is Louder in the Summer Months

Words: Pippa Moyle

www.citygirlnetwork.com

 

In last month’s column, I made a big song and dance about Brighton in May. Heralding it as a month of art, partying and eclectic pop up bars. It exceeded that expectation, with a special mention to the Spiegeltent for giving us our own space for May’s Brighton Girl Drinks.

I also warned of the inevitable FOMO and weather changes. And caused a debate around whether or not it is actually acceptable to wake up covered in glitter midweek (the “yes” camp won). 

But there’s a darker underbelly to the summer months that I didn’t cover: you could feel lonelier than ever. 

It’s no surprise that Loneliness Awareness Week is in June (12th – 18th). As gatherings in streets, promenades and parks are spilling out, walking through the joyous crowds can exacerbate disconnection. It’s like being the protagonist of a Dido music video, but with the smell of BBQs and spilt beer, rather than the pollution of New York streets.

Social media can heighten that feeling, as you scroll through snippets of your friends, family, colleagues and exes having fun in the sun. They’re all smiling, with ice cubes reflecting off their tortoiseshell cateye sunglasses. It’s even worse when they’re making the most of the drinks deal that’s been advertising to you for weeks. 

If you relate to this, you’re part of the 49.3% in the UK. That loneliness you feel can stem from a number of things – with top reasons being poor mental health, a change of routine, becoming a parent, or moving to a new place. The latter drove me to create Brighton Girl, and the rest are why it continues to grow across the country.

A cure for loneliness is to expand your social circle. Brighton Girl events are great for that, as are Connected Brighton. But outside of purpose-built social communities, I’d like to recommend Brighton Book Festival as a perfect hub for connection this month.  

Taking place from 18th – 23rd June at Brighton University City Campus, the Brighton Book Festival celebrates marginalised creators in a series of affordable events across the city. Highlights include writing workshops, poetry readings, and panel discussions around thrillers, comedy and food.

However June rolls out for you, I hope that if you feel a pang of loneliness, you remember that there are plenty of ways to find connection. And they’re waiting for you, whenever you’re ready.

Steven Graham
Author: Steven Graham

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