How to beat loneliness

Many people feel lonely at times. But there are things you can do to ease the feeling of isolation.


Small talk is not to everyone’s liking, but it actually helps break the ice. For example, ask the check-out person at the supermarket how their day is going or send a text to a friend.


Are you into video games, music, books? Joining a club is a great way to meet and connect with like-minded people. Check out your school, university or council to see what community groups that you could join.


Exercise is great for keeping healthy and lessening stress, but it is also a way to meet new people. There are many exercise groups and ‘social’ sports clubs which are aimed at beginners. Do a Google search and see what’s happening in your area.


Whether you’re playing someone in your favourite game, or simply connecting in forums with people with similar interests, chatting online is a great way to battle loneliness. You can take the leap from the comfort of your own computer while working on the skills that will help you feel less lonely long term.


Sometimes when you’re in a loneliness spiral, you might turn down opportunities to be with people without even realising it. You might have had thoughts like “that wouldn’t be for me” or “they don’t actually want me to come to that”. But be positive and give ‘yes’ a go. You could find yourself enjoying life a lot more.


Denying your feelings and telling yourself to get over it can make you feel even worse. When you work on accepting your feelings, you can feel better. You can do this by validating the emotion (e.g., ‘I’m feeling lonely, and it’s okay I feel this way’ or ‘Everyone feels this way sometimes’) and then talking to yourself like a friend.



Writing is also a good way to battle loneliness, as it helps to process your emotions and get a clearer idea of where your head is at. Whether it’s scribbling thoughts in a notebook, jotting down lyrics, or collecting what’s on your mind and downloading it on your computer, writing is a useful way to deal with feelings of isolation.


Animals are great at making us feel connected and cared for. Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and ease loneliness. If you’re not ready for the responsibility of owning a pet, you could always try pet minding.


Ask your neighbours and friends if they have a dog you could take for a walk, or a cat you could visit and pet. If all else fails, head to a dog park! The added bonus there is that everyone loves animals, so hanging out with a pet is a guaranteed way to meet new people.


When you’re feeling isolated, volunteering helps to get you out into the world and connects you with the community around you. There are many charities that need volunteers.


If you’ve tried a couple of these steps and are still feeling lonely, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. If you need it, your GP can set you up with a mental health plan that will help you to access counselling or visit a psychologist.


It’s okay not to be okay. Seek support if need be.


Footnote: Information gleaned from ReachOut at:


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