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Everyone needs meaningful contact with others to feel safe, loved and cared for. When you don’t have this, it is normal to feel lonely.

What is loneliness?

girls stares out the window

What is loneliness?

Loneliness is being alone when you don't want to be or feeling alone when you are with others. If you find it difficult to make friends, you may withdraw from social activities and begin to feel sad and lonely.

Choosing to be by yourself is different to loneliness. This is your choice to be in your own company.

Feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health and can lead to difficulties such as anxiety or depression.

How to deal with loneliness

You don't have to feel lonely. Here are some tips on dealing with and overcoming loneliness.

Reach out to people

Try make contact with people you haven't spoken to in a while and see how they are. Just send them a message or comment on their social posts. They're probably wondering what you're up to too. 

Go for a mindful walk

If there's nothing to do, just being outside and seeing other people can help. Look around you, concentrate on the sights, sounds and smells. You might notice something you've never seen before. 

Take on a hobby

What do you enjoy doing? There are YouTube videos for everything from yoga to gardening. Getting stuck into a project or hobby is a great way to occupy the mind and you'll feel good afterwards.

Learn to spend time alone

Sounds silly but there is a skill to enjoying time alone. Try to get used to being comfortable in your own company. In the future, you might have a really hectic life and crave a bit of alone time!