Everyone needs meaningful contact with others to feel safe, loved and cared for. When we don’t have this, we can feel lonely

Young woman looking out on river

Choosing to be by yourself is different to loneliness: it is your choice to be in your own company. Loneliness can be being alone when you don't want to be, or feeling alone when you are with a group of people (whether that's your family or friends). It may be difficult for you to make friends, which causes you to withdraw from social activities, leading you to feel sad and lonely.

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

Overcoming loneliness

  • Make contact with people: Try a smile or say hello – start off with what feels comfortable.
  • Go for a mindful walk: Be aware of your surroundings – look around, use your senses.
  • Try making friends: Try to meet likeminded people with the same interests as you.
  • Take on a hobby: What do you enjoy doing?
  • Peer support: Join a group where you can share your experiences and learning.
  • Talking therapy: Learn skills and methods to help yourself when you are feeling lonely.
  • Learn to spend time alone: Try to get used to being comfortable within your own company.

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