Are you feeling isolated and lonely? Then you’re not alone. One-third of older adults in Ireland admit to feeling lonely at some point in their lives. Everyone experiences loneliness differently, and it can leave us feeling anxious and vulnerable. If you need help managing feelings of loneliness, read on.
Go at your own pace
If you’ve been feeling lonely for some time, the thought of reaching out can be terrifying. But you don’t have to rush. In fact, you don’t even have to meet people face to face.
Try an online activity where you can observe first before you start to participate. Just knowing there are other people around could start to help you cope with your loneliness.
Try a peer support community
A befriending service or an online community will help you share your feelings and experiences of loneliness.
Talking with people online can be the first step towards reaching out and making new connections. Find a local service that will put you in touch with others going through the same experience. Or try a counselling service so that you can discuss your feelings with someone.
Make new contacts
Joining a class or volunteering can be satisfying ways to meet people and start to boost your self-esteem. Helping others is considered to be one of the best ways to improve your mental health, and the organisation you volunteer for could offer additional support for your loneliness.
Remember, being brave and reaching out to make contact doesn’t have to be face to face. Sharing your hobbies and interests online is a target you can achieve before overcoming more daunting challenges.
Look after yourself
Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help to lift your mood and set you on the road to feeling happier and more in control.
Building resilience is one of the best ways to cope with the ups and downs you can feel as a result of loneliness and isolation.
Open up and share
It could be that you know plenty of people, but you don’t feel close to them or that they care about you. Start by opening up to your family about how you feel.