What is Loneliness?

Loneliness is a feeling of isolation or lack of connection with others, even when surrounded by people.

It’s not always necessarily about being alone physically, sometimes it can be feeling disconnected or misunderstood.

Loneliness can affect people of all ages and backgrounds and can have serious implications for mental and physical health.

How can it affect you?

Loneliness can impact various aspects of life:

  • Emotional Well-being: Loneliness can lead to feelings of sadness, emptiness, and despair. It can contribute to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
  • Physical Health: Chronic loneliness is associated with an increased risk of health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, weakened immune system, and even premature death.
  • Cognitive Functioning: Loneliness can impair cognitive function, including memory, attention, and decision-making abilities.

How to manage Loneliness

Managing loneliness involves a combination of approaches:

  • Reach Out: Try to find opportunities to connect with others, whether it’s through social activities, volunteering, joining clubs or groups, or reaching out to friends or family members. If you feel nervous about attending a club or group is there someone that might join you for the first couple of meetings?
  • Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind and compassionate toward yourself. Practice self-care activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, hobbies, meditation, or spending time in nature.
  • Seek Professional Help: If loneliness is persistent or significantly impacting your well-being, consider seeking support from a therapist, counsellor, or mental health professional who can provide guidance and support.
  • Use Technology: Utilise technology to connect with others, whether it’s through social media, online forums, or video calls. Virtual connections can provide a sense of community and support, especially for those who are geographically isolated.

Where to get help

Tough Enough To Care Support Groups: Find your nearest one here.

Charities and Organisations: Charities and Organisations such as Age UK, Befriending Networks, Gingerbread and Meetup can help. If you are interested in volunteering head to The National Council For Voluntary Organisations.