'Loneliness is a subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship, which happens when there is a mismatch between the quantity and quality of the social relationships that we have and those that we want' (Perlman and Peplau, 1981)
Tips to combat Loneliness
Some people find these ideas useful but remember, that different things work for different people at different times. Only try what you feel comfortable with and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. If something isn't working for you or doesn't feel possible right now, you can try something else or come back to it another time.
Take your time
Although you may feel alone remember you are not the only person that is having or has had these feelings. If you can sit with these feelings without being hard on yourself. Think about what you would like in your life. Write it down. Maybe these musings could be the start of a plan.
What do you enjoy?
Is there an activity or a skill that you would like to learn or something creative that you enjoy? Is there a class or group that you could join? A common interest is a very good way to make a connection with people. Perhaps try an online activity initially. Talk to the person running the course and let them know if you'd like to observe the first session to see what happens before you fully participate or commit.
Give something back
Is there someone in your life that you used to be close to but have lost contact with? If you have a number try calling them or if you have an address it might be easier to write them a letter or send a card enclosing your contact details. See our challenges for some inspiration
Get out in nature. When one feels low making an effort to go out alone can seem daunting. Once you have made that effort it will be so rewarding. A change of scenery, feeling the weather and even the sun upon your skin will make any day seem better. You may find that with regular walks you will begin to connect with people. A smile as they say is contagious. Click here for more information.
Ever feel overwhelmed with Social Media, it's potentially all encompassing nature.
The continual comparisons and the fear of missing out. Think about how you feel when you interact with Social Media. If you feel low do you need to take a break? When you take a break check how you feel?
If you wish to interact with Social Media, can you make it a more positive experience? Follow those that make you feel good about life, who inspire and encourage you.
Look after yourself
It's easier to connect with others when you feel positive and good about yourself. To help you feel good it's essential to look after yourself.
Try and eat healthily and regularly. Keeping your blood sugar stable can make a difference to your mood and energy levels.
Getting the right amount of sleep can make a difference, getting too much or too little can be detrimental to your health and the way that you feel. Click here for ways to maximise your quality of sleep.
Want to see if you're getting enough sleep? Carry out this NHS Self Assessment