Our top tips for coping with feelings of loneliness

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is loneliness and we are joining the Mental Health Foundation in raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.

It is normal to feel lonely sometimes. Humans are very sociable beings, so when we do not see or spend time with people we love and care about – like our family, friends or communities – this can leave us feeling sad and isolated.

We asked our staff to share with us their tips for coping with feelings with loneliness:

“I have a little dog, and with him, I never feel too lonely. There’s also the added bonus that he has enabled my community connections to grow. It is amazing how many new friends I now have and people I know locally having met them on our dog walks!” Tara

“Buy a packet of seeds and plant them. If you can’t get hold of some small flower pots and compost, buy some mustard and cress seeds and plant them on some damp kitchen paper! And then watch life appear where there was nothing before, thanks to you.” Giles

“I personally manage feelings of loneliness by using technology when I’m feeling too overwhelmed to go and socialise outside of the house. Sending a text message/calling someone I trust helps alleviate the feeling whilst reaching out for support.” Lauren

“When I feel lonely, I often go to a local café. Even though I am surrounded by strangers, having other people around makes me feel less isolated, there’s something just about their presence that makes me feel a sense of connection” Aashni

“Recently when I have been feeling lonely I have been watching the birds in my back garden. Visitors have included sparrows, starlings and a beautiful pair of goldfinches last week. Being in nature really helps my mental health.” Sam

“As well as doing things to connect with others it is important to become a good friend to yourself, do things that make you happy and treat yourself now and then.” Susie

“Ring an old trusted friend” Debbie

“Try listening to the radio. In their talking sections the DJs/hosts are usually trying to make you feel as if they are in the room with you. If you like classical music, Classic FM is quite good for this. There is sometimes an opportunity to interact with the show e.g song requests.” Tim

“When I think of the theme ‘loneliness’, my head automatically sprung to reaching out to friends and family, those calls that always make me feel like I’m not alone. However, I thought a bit more about it and I guess loneliness for me is the feeling like I’m the only one feeling a certain way sometimes and that can be hard to combat. I took a walk this week, completely on my own, but it gave me chance to have a bit of breathing space and fresh air, and in turn, some of those negative thoughts and feelings disappeared. It’s a good way to release some good endorphins, feel grounded (get those shoes off if you can), and enjoy the wonderful sounds of nature around us. Besides, I wasn’t alone, I had these sheep and horses keeping me company…” Danielle

“The feeling of being lonely is your body wanting more connection with others. It can be daunting reaching out to others but it is better to do something than nothing. It is important to give yourself and other people a chance, it takes time to build connections” Sue

Manchester Mind can help you build connections. We know it can be scary to meet new people but we also know that people gain confidence in connecting with others when they start connecting with us.

Find out about the support available.

If you have any tips for coping with feelings of loneliness we would love to hear from you, please tag us on social media and use this year’s hashtag #IveBeenThere

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