Why don\’t you try? : Try these tips to manage loneliness
How can I manage 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 just now), you can try something else, or come back to it another time.
Take it slow
If you\’ve felt lonely for a long time, even if you already know lots of people, it can be terrifying to think about trying to meet new people or opening up to people for the first time. But you don\’t need to rush into anything.
For example, you could try doing an online activity where other people attend but you\’re not expected to interact with them, such as a drawing lesson. Or if you\’re interested in joining a new group or class, you could ask whoever runs the sessions if you can just watch at first, rather than taking part.
Simply knowing that other people are there may be enough to help with some feelings of loneliness.
Try peer support
There are many different types of peer support service, which provide people with a space to use their own experiences to help and support each other, including experiences of loneliness and related mental health problems.
These are some different types of peer support which you may find useful:
- Try a befriender service. Various charities offer telephone befriender servicers, which put volunteer befrienders in touch with people feeling lonely.
- Join an online community like Side by Side. These communities can provide a place to listen and share with others who have similar experiences. They are available 24/7, most are free and you can access them wherever you are. See our pages on online mental health for some more suggestions.
- Contact Mind\’s Infoline or a local Mind to see what other types of peer support there may be in your area.
Make new connections
If you are feeling lonely because of a lack of satisfying social contact in your life, you could try to meet more, or different people.
* Try to join a class or group based on your hobbies or interests. This could include online groups if you can\’t attend things in person.
* If you are able to, volunteering is a good way of meeting people. Helping others can also really help improve your mental health. It is also a good idea to check that you will receive adequate support from the organisation you are volunteering at.
Try to open up
You might feel that you know plenty of people, but what is actually wrong is that you don\’t feel close to them, or they don\’t give you the care and attention you need.
In this situation it might help to open up about how you feel to friends and family.
If you don\’t feel comfortable opening up to the people you know, you could try speaking with a therapist or a using a peer support service.
Talking therapies allow you to explore 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 problems that make it hard for you to form satisfying relationships.
If anxiety about 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.
Here\’s a tip for you to try this week :
Consider joining a group or class that focuses on something you enjoy – you could ask to go along and just watch first if you\’re feeling nervous, Speak to your family and friends, Spend time with family and friends,
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