Coping with Loneliness
Written by WWTW Clinical Lead, Carolyn Brown.
Over the last 10 months, many of us have struggled in one way or another, particularly if poor mental health had been an issue pre-COVID. Loneliness has had a huge impact upon many individuals and families who have been restricted in accessing the basic need to have physical contact with loved ones as well as friends. For those who do not have family, the act of being able to go out to socialise has always been good for mental wellbeing. The new lockdown rules are going to impact many again, particularly during these winter months. There is light at the end of the tunnel but keeping motivated and positive can be a struggle.
If you are feeling lonely, here are some tips to help:
●Call a friend or family member – tell them how you are feeling, try not to bottle things up. Staying connected is vital for our mental wellbeing.
●Join an online group – an exercise group, a choir group, there are lots of resources out there – get someone to explain how to access these if you are unsure, many local councils have community hubs and there may be volunteers who can assist with this.
●Go for a walk – spending time outside has significant health benefits, apart from getting out of the home, regular walking is likely to boost your immune system and stimulate the production of endorphins, the chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood improvers.
If you are concerned about someone who may be lonely there are lots of things you can do to help:
●You could become a volunteer for your local area – your council will have more details.
●Keep in regular contact with individuals in your community who do not have family living locally or who may be living on their own. You could give them a ring on a regular basis if that is what they would like.
●Send motivational messages to friends or family members who may be struggling.
We can all feel lonely at times and the feeling of being disconnected from friends and family is going to affect many. Many do not have access to technology – but by looking out for each other – friends, family, and neighbours or by volunteering, it is possible to do something to help – that is to help others and ourselves.
Click here to find out more about our mental health programme
For emergency support please contact:
- Combat Stress (24HR) 0800 138 1619
- Samaritans (24HR) 116 123