As humans we require meaningful contact with others to enable us 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. However, loneliness may be being alone when you do not wish to be, or feeling alone when you are with a group of people (be it family and/or friends). It may be difficult for you to make friends and because of this you 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 some groups and share experiences and learning.
  • Talking therapy: Lets you learn skills/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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