Social relationships

Older person using a computer

Spending time with other people

When it comes to wellbeing, other people matter.  Good relationships – with our family, friends and the wider community – are important for our wellbeing.

During the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the government introduced social distancing measures to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. With the lifting of restrictions, we can cautiously start meeting up again with family and friends. While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us, see the guidance on the UK Government website. If you are worried about going back to a more ‘normal’ life, there is information on the NHS website on how to cope with anxiety about coming out of lockdown.

Spending time and connecting with people is important, as our relationships affect both our physical health and mental wellbeing.

Although meeting up with our friends may be more limited, there are ways in which we can build stronger and closer relationships, for example:

  • If you are well and not self-isolating, take time each day to be with those you live with, for example, try arranging a fixed time to share a meal and talk.
  • Arrange a time to talk with people you are used to seeing so you can structure your day.
  • Connect with old friends, by phone, email or social media, or phone a friend or family member who needs support or company.
  • Stay in touch with your colleagues or organise a group chat with friends.

If you’re not sure where to start, contact your local Wellbeing team for ideas.

The Silver Line helpline is a dedicated telephone service aimed primarily at tackling loneliness in older people. It is a confidential 24 hour freephone service offering advice, information and friendship. The number is 0800 470 8090.

Be active

Physical activity is important for maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing, as well as for boosting your immunity.

The lifting of restrictions allows more physical activity to take place. See the UK Government website for information on how to keep yourself and others safe when participating in sport and physical activity.

Being physically active in your home or garden will also be good for your health.  Get up and walk around regularly, make a cuppa, do some light housework, or do some gardening if you have a garden.  There are also lots of options for online exercise which you can do in your living room.  You could try:

Visit our Being active page or contact your local Wellbeing team for more information about how to stay active.