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Life, Mind, Wellbeing

Loneliness – ways to combat it

Loneliness Awareness Week - what to do when you feel lonely

Loneliness Awareness Week is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of loneliness. So what is loneliness? and how can you overcome it?

Feeling lonely

Loneliness is a natural human emotion that everybody experiences in a different way. But it’s not linier. Loneliness is a very personal experience, but people typically describe it as the feeling they get when their need for social contact is not met. We’re biologically wired to maintain social connections and loneliness is our signal that we need more.

However, being lonely is not the same as being alone. Some people choose to be alone and they are happy and content being by themselves. Equally, you could be surrounded by people, but feeling lonely as you don’t feel that anybody understands you.

When is Loneliness Awareness Week?

Loneliness Awareness Week falls from 14-18 June.

The Marmalade Trust launched the Loneliness Awareness Week campaign, to raise awareness and to get people talking about this natural human feeling. It’s important that we remove the stigma and shame surrounding loneliness, because although it’s something we experience, it’s not something that defines us.

What brings loneliness on?

Anything can trigger the feeling of loneliness, but after being in the grips of a global pandemic, it’s no wonder that people are feeling more susceptible to this feeling than ever.

It can happen to anybody

It is important to know that loneliness can effect anybody. This isn’t something that only old people who live alone feel. Young people, old people, single people and cohabiting people can all feel lonely. Sociable extroverts can be hit, along with those that lead more solitary lives. Loneliness is an emotion that doesn’t discriminate.

Getting to know yourself

One way to deal with loneliness is by learning what makes you tick. If you’re aware of your mind, your personality and the things that bring you happiness, then it can be easier to deal with feelings of loneliness when they start to creep up. If you’re interested in finding out more about yourself, then check out my article on free personality profiling and the ways it can help you.

I’ve also previously written about extroverts, ambiverts and omniverts and how those personality types can thrive in isolation. They say that knowledge is power and knowing your mind can help you to combat loneliness and other uncomfortable emotions.

Learning to self soothe

If you’re feeling lonely, then it’s important to take steps to make yourself feel better. If you don’t feel like you can tackle it by talking to another person, then take other steps to protect your own mental health. Make sure you create an emergency calm box to help you when you are feeling low. You should also look for ways to look after your mental health.

There is always somebody to speak to

Connecting with other people is so important and it can help us to combat loneliness. If you’re feeling lonely, then reach out to somebody you know and you tell them. You could do this on the phone, via social media, or in person.

If you feel that you don’t have anybody you can contact, then there are things you can do. Try striking up conversation with somebody at the supermarket, or during another part of your usual routine. It might not cure the feeling of loneliness completely, but it may help to ease it.

If you feel lonely and you do need to confide in somebody, then there is always somebody there to listen. Contact Mind or The Samaritans if you need a supportive ear.

Loneliness Awareness Week