We all experience loneliness at some point in our lives. Even if we live in a busy city or a rural area, on our own or with others, we can still feel isolated. If you are struggling right now or at any time in the future, you shouldn’t blame yourself.
There is no single cause of loneliness. Life events or changing circumstances can trigger it, or it can just happen without any reason.
Loneliness affects us all in different ways. We can use a range of strategies for overcoming loneliness, and we should identify the ones that work best for us. Reminding yourself that loneliness and difficult feelings will pass is helpful.
Although loneliness is a feeling we can all relate to, admitting it is sometimes more difficult. We want people to talk more openly about feeling lonely and the impact that loneliness can have.
Sometimes it can be easier to reach out to someone else who may be feeling lonely. There are plenty of simple actions you can take to help lift someone out of loneliness and in doing so, it might help you to feel less lonely too.
Advice for Loneliness
Keep in touch with those around you
Take the time to talk to friends and family. Sometimes a friendly chat can make such a big difference. You could choose to meet up in person, or chat on the phone, via video calls or on social media, all contact can help remind you that you are not alone.
Make sure to check in regularly – most of us love hearing from people we have lost touch with. Creating a daily routine of checking in with others and being more social can be good, as it can make it easier to reach out at the time you feel lonely.
Messaging old friends or colleagues, or setting up a group chat on a messaging app like WhatsApp or Messenger may help them and you feel more connected.
Join a group
Find a group you have shared interests with, it’s great way to make friends and make connections. Think of some activities you might want to try and then look for some clubs or groups centred around this.
By mixing with other people, they may be able to introduce you to a group they might belong too. This could be about anything, from gaming and singing to cooking or sport. Also remember to be friendly to newcomers and try to involve others in the conversation, especially those who may lack confidence.
Do things you enjoy
Doing things you love and enjoy can stop you thinking about feeling lonely. Spend time outside, do some exercise, listen to podcasts. These can all help boost your mood and make you feel happier.
Share your feelings
Being able to talk to other people about how you are feeling can really help. Hearing a familiar voice and seeing a friendly face can stop you feeling isolated. Do not compare yourself to others though. Some people only share the good things happening on social media, so don’t compare yourself to anyone else. We also never know what others are going through.
Help someone else feel connected
Reach out to other people who you think may be feeling lonely. If someone is feeling lonely for a long time it can feel harder to make new connections. Be patient and kind as it may take some time for them to warm up to you.
Try to keep in touch with those around you too. If you pass people you know on the street, take some time to smile, wave and have a chat with them. You could offer to swap phone numbers or create a local group chat to stay connected.
Invite someone you know along to activities near you
There are lots of free or low-cost activities you can take part in. Look at Free and Cheap Activities in England | VisitEngland to give you some ideas of things happening around you.
Talking therapies will help you discover and understand your feelings of loneliness and can help you develop positive ways of dealing with them. For example, therapy can provide a space for you to discuss the emotional issues that make it hard for you to form rewarding relationships.
If anxiety over social situations has made you feel isolated, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may help. This focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour, and teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems.
Look after yourself
When you are feeling lonely it can be very stressful and have a huge impact on your general wellbeing. Some of the steps below may help.
- Get enough sleep – too much or too little can have a big impact on how you feel.
- Think about your diet – making sure you eat regularly and keep your blood sugar stable. This can make a huge difference to your mood.
- Do some physical activity – this helps massively with your mental wellbeing and self-esteem.
- Spend time outside.
- Spend time with animals – this can help boost your mood and stop you from feeling lonely.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
Support for Loneliness
If you cannot reach out to friends or family, if you want to talk to someone in confidence, or if you know someone who may need support, these organisations are here to help.
If you’re experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood, the NHS mental health hub has advice, guides and practical tools to help.
A free 24-hour confidential telephone helpline offering information, friendship, and advice to people over 55:
Tel: 0800 4 70 80 90
The Mix offers free confidential help for under-25s to get support online and via a helpline:
Tel: 0808 808 4494 or text “THEMIX” to 85258
visit The Mix website for a free online chat service
Mumsnet is a wonderful place to connect with other parents and carers. The website offers advice, expertise and support to help make lives easier on everything from conception to childbirth and babies to teenagers: visit Mumsnet.
Mind has information about dealing with loneliness and offers tips and advice on coping with these feelings: visit the Mind website.
The Marmalade Trust
The Marmalade Trust is dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness and helping people make new friendships: visit the Marmalade Trust website.
If you would like to talk to us about Mental Health training, we have 2 courses available;
- First Aid Awareness for Mental Health– This Level 2 certified course helps introduce the risks and warning signs of Mental Health and teaches the importance of early intervention. (6 hours)
- Supervisor First Aid for Mental Health– This Level 3 certified course covers a wider range of Mental Health conditions. The course is suitable for all persons who hold a supervisory/managerial level position and are responsible for implementing Mental Health in the workplace. (12 hours)