20 September 2019
Perhaps you’ve moved to a new place and don’t know anyone, or maybe you’re surrounded by friends and family but still feel lonely? Feeling alone is more common than you think, and thankfully there are ways to deal with loneliness. If you find yourself being hit with the blues, attempt to act on the feeling and try some of the tips outlined below.
Find things you can do by yourself
One of the first (and arguably the hardest) ways to tackle loneliness, is learning to love your own company. Try and think of things you can do by yourself – it could be baking, reading, exercising or writing a journal. Distracting yourself from feeling lonely with activities that you enjoy doing alone, is a great way to deal with loneliness.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you feel like your loneliness is affecting your mental health, don’t be afraid to reach out to somebody. Scheduling an appointment with your GP to talk about how you’re feeling can only go well. They may refer you to therapy, which is a great opportunity to be honest about how you’re feeling, with no judgement whatsoever. Therapy can help with loneliness as it involves the simple process of being listened to and valued.
Make an effort to be social
Social anxiety is real, but you won’t ever conquer a fear if you don’t face it! Start small and make conversation at the coffee machine at work. This will help you build confidence and realise that you are interesting and worth talking to! If you’ve spent a good portion of your day being social, you won’t feel as lonely when you are alone. If work isn’t a good place to start, think about getting a social hobby.
Consider getting a pet
For those who live alone or have partners who are away a lot, getting a pet can be a really good idea. Having another living, breathing ball of fluff in your home creates a steady companionship. It is also a lot of responsibility and gives you something to focus on – whether it’s making sure the dog gets enough exercise or remembering to clean the cat litter tray. Of course, animal interaction isn’t the same as human interaction, but for time spent away from other people, having an animal there with you can make dealing with loneliness far easier.
Strengthen existing relationships
As life goes on, there are friendships and relationships that can fizzle out for a number of reasons. If you’re feeling lonely, why don’t you reach out to them? Simply send a message and start a conversation! If nothing else, it’ll be great to see how their life is going. Alternatively, try and boost connections with people who are currently in your life, but you aren’t that close to. Invite them over for dinner, go out with them more – make an effort to strengthen the bond.
Give back to society
Giving back to your community can work wonders for loneliness. Interacting with a range of different people is a fantastic way of building positive emotions and releasing endorphins. Volunteering in a charity shop, dog home or youth organisation like The Army Cadets not only helps others, but is also an opportunity to meet new people and make a difference to your life too.
Becoming a volunteer at The Army Cadet Force is a fantastic use of your spare time. Meet new people and become a mentor for young people in an environment that promotes respect and kindness. There are many benefits of volunteering – our AVs can gain various qualifications, experience annual camping trips and have the opportunity to develop as people.
We have volunteers from all walks of life at our detachments, so you’re bound to come across like-minded people who you enjoy being around. This is a great way to help deal with loneliness – so what are you waiting for? Register as a volunteer today.