Loneliness and Self-Care
Today we are introducing Bryher Scudamore from The Silver Line, who has joined the Online Community as our Older People Advisor. Bryher can assist with queries on topics such as asking for help, accessing the right support, and caring for elderly relatives and friends. She talks to us today about tips for self-care when you’re feeling lonely.
Bryher has spent most of her career working on consumer issues both on local newspapers and then on the top rating BBC programme ‘That’s Life!” She now works with The Silver Line, the charity set up by Dame Esther Rantzen that is the only helpline available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year because sometimes it is the earliest hours of the morning that can be the most lonely and isolating because there is no-one else to talk to. Bryher was a trustee of the world famous Eden Project and is chair of a charity, Educational Dance Provision Services, which helps children and adults on the autistic spectrum to learn via movement. She has been happily married for 42 years.
The Silver Line often receives calls from people struggling with loneliness. Loneliness can have a big impact on your health, and disabled people can find themselves isolated for all kinds of reasons. The Silver Line’s Founder and President, Dame Esther Rantzen was asked for five tips for looking after yourself for when you’re feeling low, and this is what she said:
"1. Pamper yourself – this is “me” time – enjoy it. It may be by buying a special box of chocolates, it may be by relaxing in a perfumed bubble bath, it may be watching a gorgeous Hollywood musical on tv – just indulge yourself. And remind yourself that if you were not alone you’d either have to share the chocs, or lock the bathroom door, or wrestle the remote control away from somebody else who complains that you’ve turned up the volume too high.
2. Every time you read some story in the papers that makes you laugh, or say “wow” to yourself, cut it out and save it for times when you need to distract yourself. Laughter is better than a face-lift.
3. I would love to keep a dog but my life-style doesn’t allow me to look after a dog as I would wish. So instead I watch the entrancing Dog Whisperer on cable TV.
4. Buy yourself an orchid. They survive most forms of ill treatment, you can say what you like to them and they won’t answer back.
5. Sorry to be didactic, but embrace technology. I know, I know, nothing beats having a real person to have a laugh and a cup of tea with, but you can travel the world via your computer. So nerve yourself to learn to send emails if you don’t already, and have Facetime conversations with friends and family.” (From Scope Community Team: Scope recognises that online forums can also act as a vital support service for disabled people, and we hope that our Online Community will always be a welcoming and comforting place for our members to turn to in times of need).
If you have any suggestions of your own, we’d love to hear them. Do you have any tips for combatting loneliness or practicing self-care?
Older People Advisor
The Silver Line
Phone: 0800 4 70 80 90
Email: [email protected]