Loneliness is a universal emotion which many experience occasionally. Persistent feelings of loneliness can make you feel disconnected from others, and have a negative effect on your physical and mental wellbeing.
If you're looking for ways to combat loneliness, here are a few tips that can help you feel connected to yourself and others.
- Reach out and share how you feel with someone you trust, as this is an important step in acknowledging loneliness and doing something about it. This could be a friend, family member, colleague or your GP.
- If you feel uncomfortable talking to people close to you, you can reach out to Shout. Our trained volunteers are here to listen without judgement and support you.
- Prioritise making new social connections. You could join a club or class where you can meet people with similar interests. While it can be daunting to interact with others at first, simply knowing that other people are present may be enough to help combat feelings of loneliness.
- Strengthen existing relationships and try to improve and deepen the social bonds you already have by scheduling time to connect regularly with those you feel closest to.
- Make time to connect with yourself; spend time investing in yourself and your interests, as this could help distract you from focusing on your loneliness.
Noticing signs of loneliness or isolation in someone else?
Reach out with a smile, simple enquiry or general observation. Connectedness is not just about those relationships that give a sense of belonging and closeness, your tribe, or that one person you know you can reach out to in times of need. It is not just that, it is also about noticing others around you, lifting your head and acknowledging people around you.
Even a brief, small acknowledgement, letting someone know that they have been seen and that someone has taken the time to connect, can have enough of an impact to change someone’s life. Never underestimate the power of connection. It has the potential to be the antidote to loneliness.
Don’t forget, if you’re struggling to cope with loneliness or any other issue, you can text SHOUT to 85258 at any time of day or night to be connected with an empathetic volunteer.