11th May 2022
This Mental Health Awareness Week the theme is Loneliness. Whilst loneliness can become a real issue for many involved in the bullying cycle, the issue is actually far more widespread that most imagine.
In England, a total of 45% of adults feel occasionally, sometimes, or often lonely. This equates to twenty five million people.
Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. (Holt-Lunstad, 2010)
These two facts taken from https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/the-facts-on-loneliness/ highlight just how important it is to pay attention to the issues loneliness can cause and perhaps signpost one of the reasons it is the theme for this year’s campaign.
Loneliness can be harder to spot than we often appreciate. Sometimes those who seem to be the life and soul of the party can often be struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Reaching out to another, even with just a simple or small gesture, can sometimes make a big difference to how they are feeling.
If you are struggling with feelings of loneliness, please know you are not alone in this. Below are some ways you could use to try and manage those feelings moving forwards:
Accept your feelings:
To feel is to be human. Accept that it’s ok to feel as you do. Accepting that can help a lot in moving on from those feelings and help you to feel stronger about reaching out.
Seek online support:
If you don’t feel up to reaching out in person, there are many ways to access support via the online world. Try an online group around one of your hobbies – you can get as involved as you feel comfortable with. In most, there is no need to even comment unless you choose to. If you want to speak to someone more specifically about how you are feeling, perhaps our online counselling service can help. Access it here.
Many communities offer meet ups/lunches/groups for those who want to get to know others within their local communities. Joining a group, an exercise class, a library, can all help you to get out the front door in the morning with a purpose in mind.
Practice Self Care:
Looking after yourself can help a lot. Regular sleep, mindfulness, a good diet, and regular exercise can all assist in making us feel better internally.
Monitor your use of Social Media:
Whilst Social Media can act as a tool to help us reach out to others, it is also important to monitor how it makes us feel about ourselves. If your newsfeed or a particular app is making you feel more alone or isolated then perhaps consider muting certain accounts or taking some time out from specific apps. Assess how you feel after your time online. If it is having a negative impact perhaps it’s time to reassess your use. Our digital detox journal can help.
If we can help in any other way, please get in touch. We don’t want anyone reading this to feel they are alone. We are here to support you every step of the way.
Written by Lucy Howard, Head of Content and Media, BulliesOut
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