The COVID-19 outbreak has clearly prevented individuals from visiting friends, family and neighbors as often as they once had. As a result, many individuals have experienced loneliness due to the social distancing guidelines, as well as the limited options for socializing. Persons who are shut-in, in nursing homes or with no relatives or friends to look in on them may be particularly vulnerable and, consequently, begin feeling lonely, sad and depressed. Lonely people have few friends and loved ones. They may be elderly or see people on an infrequent basis.
Cheer Up the Lonely Day was created by Francis Pesek from Detroit, Michigan. According to his daughter L.J. Pesek, her father Francis was a quiet, kind, wonderful man who “had a heart of gold.” Having a day specifically designated for cheering up the lonely was his way of promoting kindness towards others. He chose July 11th because it is his birthday.
Celebrating Cheer Up the Lonely Day is easy to do. Simply spend time with someone who is on your mind who has recently lost a loved one or who may be lonely. When you visit, think of happy things to talk about and keep the conversation upbeat and lively. When you leave, give them a big wave and let them know you enjoyed the visit. Sending a card or making a phone call is fine too but only if they live too far away to visit. What a lonely person really needs is face-to-face time with other people.
When you can make someone happy, you have done a good thing, and you should be proud of yourself.
The Bellevue University Library has some wonderful resources on loneliness prevention and on being positive. Here are a few titles:
Bittersweet: Surviving and Growing from Loneliness by Terri Schultz. BF575.L7 S39
Happy Video by Wadi Rum Films (1 h, 14 min)
How to Be Alone by Tanya Davis
Real Happiness: Proven Paths for Contentment, Peace and Well-Being by Jonah Paquette.
Solitude—An Antidote to Loneliness (Video: 32 minutes)
This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression. By Daphne Merkin. RG852.M47 2017