The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that we have all felt cut off from other people and more lonely.
You might still feel this way even with restrictions being lifted.
So, we’ve put together some practical advice that can be used with Coronavirus restrictions in place or not.
You’re not alone in feeling this way – it’s okay to feel lonely
Often, we feel like we’re the only ones who could use a friend or feel lonely.
On social media, we often see other people together. It’s tempting to think there must be something wrong with us. But this is not true, many people feel the same, and it’s important to acknowledge that others are struggling. On social media you usually only see things people want to share.
Make sure to reach out to those around you – keep in touch
Pick up the phone. A friendly chat can make a big difference. Text messages and emojis are not the same as having a conversation. Pick up the phone and talk to someone. Most people will appreciate a phone call and be glad to hear from you. Perhaps message someone who might also be feeling the same as you?
Get back in touch. Is there someone you have lost contact with? This might be the time to get back in touch. They will likely be glad to hear from you. It might be a bit much to pick up the phone, so an email or a text can start a conversation.
Do more than just chat. Chatting with people is one thing. But it is worth scheduling things to do with people together. Technology means that you don’t need to do this in person with someone. Think about mutual interests you have with the people you know and read the same book or watch the same TV show, so you can discuss it. There are several simple online games that can be plaid socially with others.
Reach out to new people – join a group
Join a group based on a shared interest. This is a great way to make connections, and groups are very welcoming. Technology means you can do this without being in the same room. Think about the activities you do that are part of who you are and look for groups centred on these activities. This could be gaming, singing, cooking, sport, gardening, woodwork – anything that you enjoy doing and talking about with other people.
Ask others if you can join in. It’s likely you know people who are involved in similar groups. So, ask people you know if they are involved in any groups and if you can join. It can be helpful to know one other person who can introduce you to the group.
Local organisations can help
Live Well Telford. Many local organisations that can help are listed on Live Well Telford.
Volunteer Telford. Meet people and make friends through volunteering. Local opportunities are listed on Volunteer Telford.
Check your library. Telford Libraries have many activities for people to take part in.
Peer support. Consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website.
Search online. Many groups, from choirs to writing groups and exercise classes, can be found online. Search for the organisations and activities you might be interested in and get in touch.
And finally, take it slowly and be kind to yourself
Your mood may not change instantly and that’s okay. Gradually set yourself small achievable things to do to change how you feel.
Make sure not to focus on the things you cannot change. Instead focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better.
Remember that many people feel lonely at some point in their life and support is available.