Loneliness is something a lot of people experience. You are not the only one who could use a friend or feel lonely. One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time. And it’s okay to feel alone.
There’s no single cause for loneliness, and there’s no one solution. We are all different! But, the longer we feel lonely the more it affects our wellbeing. But there are things we can all do to cope with loneliness and prevent some of the negative feelings that can come with it. Here are some coping strategies that you might find useful.
1. Find people that ‘get you’
It can be hard to connect with others when you’re feeling lonely. But there are great benefits in finding people who have been through similar experiences to you. Interacting with others that ‘get’ you can give you a sense of belonging that may be missing. Try looking for similar people in local groups or social media.
2. Do something enjoyable
One way of managing loneliness is by keeping busy and doing things we enjoy. This might be a hobby such as a bit of gardening, going to the gym or even sorting out your kitchen cupboards, jigsaws, puzzles or knitting. Small activities can give you energy and positive feelings, but these things must be fun or fulfilling.
Find a group of people who share your interests. Say hello to the people who are there. It’s a fantastic way to meet like-minded people.
Be careful about working too hard or watching TV shows simply as a distraction. These will only delay or suppress your feelings and could actually make your mental health worse.
3. Engage with the people you meet in your daily life
It can be hard to talk to others when you’re feeling lonely. However, trying to connect with the people you meet as you go about your day can be helpful. Even catching someone’s eye and saying “hi” as you walk along can make you feel better. Say hello to the person delivering your post or talk to the person at the checkout.
By sharing a polite greeting – you might find you give someone else a positive lift too.
4. Offer a helping hand
Volunteer your time to help others is a proven way to improve mental health. It is also a great way to connect with other volunteers as well as the people you are supporting. Start by finding a group you are interested in or a local charity. Get in touch and see if they need help. Or you can offer a favour to a neighbour or help out a colleague at work.
- Find local volunteering opportunities at Volunteer Telford
- Volunteer for Friends of Telford Town Park
5. Spend time with pets
If you are lucky enough to have a pet, it can be a great way of managing loneliness. Animals provide us with unconditional love. They also provide structure to our days that can even encourage us to get out and connect with others. Interaction with pets is also shown to help reduce stress levels.
6. Use social media in a positive way
Social media can help your mental health, but it can also affect it negatively. The key is to use it positively. Find digital communities that share your interests and passions. Most importantly, be aware of how you feel when using social media and focus on topics and activities that work for you.
7. Pick up the phone and speak to someone
Sharing your thoughts can really help. Whether it’s with someone you know, a volunteer or a professional. There is always someone who can listen. Have a think of someone you used to be close to who you can reach and connect with. Be curious and ask questions about themselves, as this can really help you make a good connection.
Talking therapy can be hard to get – but if you can find a professional, it can really be of benefit. It’ll provide you with a safe space to work through your feelings and thoughts without judgement. Check out your local resources by visiting the NHS website.
There are also many fantastic helplines with trained staff and volunteers who care about what you have to say and can offer you help if you need it.
Need someone to speak to? The following on local helplines run by volunteers.
- Senior Citizens Forum – Call: 07932 828333 (for over 50s)
- If you are struggling and feel you can’t cope, call Telford Mind on 07434 869248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to know more about improving how you feel?
We have lots more tips and information to share with you that can help improve how you feel.
Join our Year of Wellbeing and make a pledge to improve your wellbeing this year. Once you have made your pledge, we will email you with tips and information you easily can put into practice – as well as helpful reminders to help you achieve your wellbeing goal.
This is your time to feel healthier and happier – join the year of wellbeing today.