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4 ways to feel less lonely in May


I don't know about you, but I for one am glad to be packing away my thick winter coat, and - let's be honest, we're in England - swapping it for my less thick spring coat. When I think of May, I think of beautiful spring weather and blooming flowers, Bank Holidays, and pub gardens. That being said, the thing with loneliness is, it can strike at any time, no matter whether we have plans in the sunshine. Loneliness can affect all of us, and feels different to each of us. So, at Marmalade Trust, we thought we'd start a new series, where we put our heads together and think of four opportunities or ways to feel less lonely each month - one for each week. As always, comment below, or drop us a line on social media to share your connection ideas.



Take a class or workshop

Learning a new skill can be a great distraction from loneliness, and it puts you in a room with potential new friends. I've just signed up for a vase making workshop at a local cafe, which I found through Googling 'evening workshops in Bristol'. Look for local workshops or classes that interest you—be it pottery, painting, cooking, or even a dance class. These activities offer structured social time, which can be easier to manage if socialising seems daunting.

Put your trainers on

May is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy nature. Spending time in parks, forests, or other natural areas can be a great way to connect with yourself and others. Whether you go for a hike or have a picnic, nature can help you feel more grounded and connected to the world around you. May is also National Walking Month. Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve physical and mental health and stay connected to our community, helping us feel less lonely. Head to the website for more information on how to get involved here.


Join a gardening club


With May being the peak time for gardening, joining a local gardening club or attending a community gardening day can be incredibly fulfilling. It’s a chance to nurture nature while nurturing new friendships. Gardening is known for its therapeutic effects and can be a relaxing way to connect with others who share a love for the outdoors. When I searched the RHS website for a gardening club near me, there were lots to choose from, including one just 0.2 miles from my house!

Another idea is to join a local Men's Shed. Men’s Sheds are community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. The activities are often similar to those of garden sheds, but for groups of men to enjoy together (many Sheds also have women members too). They help reduce loneliness and isolation, but most importantly, they’re fun.


Take good care of yourself


You're probably sick of the phrase 'self-care' - it's pretty overused. But no matter what phrase you use to describe it, doing things that make you feel good will in turn improve your overall wellbeing and can help with feelings of loneliness or low mood. For me, taking good care of myself means locking my phone away and writing in my journal. For you, it might be signing up to a boxing class, fixing up an old car, flying a kite, or reading a good book. No judgements here! If you're feeling up to it, you could try and integrate these activities into your daily routine to make it a habit over the month of May.



Bookshop events


If you're into reading, try searching for events at your local bookshop for a chance to meet like-minded people. My local bookshop has regular events including author readings and book discussions (Tickets cost £6, which includes a glass of wine and £2 off the book - I'm sold!) If you haven't got a good local bookshop, check your local library’s calendar.


UK events in May


Cheltenham Jazz Festival ➡️ 1 – 6 May

Every year, Cheltenham Jazz Festival represents the start of the summer in Cheltenham, bringing together world-renowned performers and jazz enthusiasts from across the globe. 


Brighton Festival ➡️ 4 – 26 May

Brighton is known as a place that welcomes diversity, creativity and innovative thinking, and its annual festival celebrates this pioneering spirit and experimental approach. Established in 1967 and now one of Europe’s leading arts festivals, this celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate and family events aims to make art accessible to all and takes place in a variety of venues across Brighton and Hove.


Women’s FA Cup Final ➡️ 11 or 12 May

The Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final returns to Wembley and will see two teams battle it out for the coveted trophy.


Highland Games, across Scotland ➡️ From 12 May

Around 100 Highland games and gatherings take place in Scotland each year. Each one has a mix of piping, athletic events and Highland dancing. 


Chelsea Flower Show ➡️ 21 – 25 May

One of the best known Royal Horticultural Shows, the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show returns with even more unforgettable floral and horticultural displays.


Hay Festival of Literature and Arts ➡️ 23 May – 2 June

The renowned Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, held annually in a tented village on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, aims to bring together some of the greatest contemporary authors and the most exciting new voices in literature and the arts. Past speakers and performers have included Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Chelsea Clinton, Michael Woolf, Stormzy, Dua Lipa, Simon Schama, David Olusoga, Rose McGowan, Dara O’Briain and many more.


 

May is a month of new beginnings, and by finding ways to connect with others, you can start the season off on a positive note. By spending time with friends, family, colleagues or meeting new people, volunteering in your local community, participating in events, and spending time in nature, you can find meaningful connections with others and feel more connected to the world around you. Let me know how you get on!




Meg at Marmalade Trust

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