Beating loneliness this Mental Health Awareness Week

Loneliness affects millions of people in the UK every year. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, a chance to raise awareness of how loneliness can affect our wellbeing.

Many of us will experience loneliness in some shape or form and this can have a negative impact on our mental health. Particularly during the pandemic, many people found the time isolated from friends, family, and colleagues difficult to cope with.

However, everyone’s feelings of loneliness are personal and so everyone’s experiences will be different. There’s lots of ways to combat loneliness but it’s important to continue having open and honest conversations about mental health and wellbeing.

We’ve put together some simple ways that you can help beat loneliness and look after your mental health.

Take up a new hobby 

Whether it’s revealing the artist within you or keeping active by exploring your local area, there are plenty of activities out there waiting to be discovered.

Bring a friend along to join in the fun or attend your local community centre, library, or even online forum to meet new friends with the same interests as you.

You’ll have the chance to master a new skill and keep connected along the way.

Take care of yourself 

When you’re feeling lonely, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself too. Self-care is always a good idea, but especially when you are feeling a little down.

Cook yourself nutritious meals and make sure you get your 5 a day. Try exercising to get your body moving and those all-important hours of sleep to make you feel refreshed.

Making use of your time alone by looking after yourself means you’ll start to see your alone time as positive and meaningful.

Reach out for help 

When you are struggling, it’s always a good idea to reach out for support. Whether that’s from a family member, a friend, or another support service. There are many types of support services out there that provide a safe space for people so share their own experiences and help and support each other.

The charity Mind have put together a collection of places you can go for support here. They also have their own online community called Side by Side. Available 24/7, it’s a place to make connections, learn from others and feel inspired to take positive steps on your journey to better mental health.