Posted by Victoria Walmesley on 6 May, 2022
We spoke to some of the TALKWORKS therapists and asked them what advice they would give to anyone struggling with loneliness. Below, they share their suggestions on what to do if you are feeling isolated and alone.
"I always try to make sure I have things booked in I can look forward to, even small things. Sometimes just knowing that there is a social opportunity - whether that's with one friend, family member or a group - coming up soon can really help the days beforehand where there may not be as much going on." - Adam, Talking Health (Torbay and South)
"Get fit socially, as well as psychologically and physically. I have been noticing a lot of older guys who allow their social circle to shrink. They have good friendships and shared interests in their 30s and 40s. There is a tendency to not put enough effort into your friendships - make sure you call, go out, keep up those old contacts from work, sports/hobbies or family." - Neil, South Hams and West Devon
"I found it difficult to get out of the lockdown rut. I have been reminding myself of what I enjoyed before lockdown and am trying to find ways to get back into them, eg. getting back to a regular gym class, joining a local sports team or wild swimming group to meet people with a common interest, planning gatherings with friends I haven't seen for ages." - Nicola, Talking Health (Torbay and South)
"Look at what help is available to you locally. There will be many others in a similar situation even though it doesn't feel like it, and they want to be with someone else too. It's OK to say 'I'm lonely, I need company', otherwise others may assume everything is OK." - Joanna, Talking Health (Exeter and North)
"Join groups that you have an interest in so that all have something in common. Everyone can feel lonely sometimes, it's just about looking at what's in your control." - Claire, Torridge
"Try to get out there and reach out. It can be hard to do this but more often than not, worth it. Be aware of your interests (passions, even) and seek out others who share these." - Nick, Talking Health (Exeter and North)
"Try and find opportunities to connect with other people. Join a club or visit the library to find out what you can get involved with in your local area. Community centres can be useful for finding out more information" - Sharon, Mid Devon team
"Reach out via Teams if you work remotely and are feeling lonely. Or go out for a short walk around the block as being around other people can help you feel less alone." - Karys, Talking Health (Exeter and North)
"Try and connect with people - call friends or family, whattsApp, facetime etc. It’s important to reach out to someone and let them know how you are feeling. Get out for a walk - sometimes connecting with nature can be really helpful, or just saying hello to a stranger." - Nicky, Paignton and Brixham
"You're not alone - loneliness is a normal human emotion. That being said make sure you take any opportunity that comes up no matter what it is, you never know where you might meet a friend." - Grace, Talking Health (Exeter and North)
If you are struggling with low mood, social anxiety, increased stress, or are just not feeling quite yourself; you can self-refer to TALKWORKS, and gain access our confidential talking therapy treatment options and support. As part of the NHS, all of our services are available free of charge to anyone over the age of 18, living in Devon.
You don’t need to see a GP or healthcare professional before referring yourself to our service. You can simply fill out our online self-referral form, or call us on 0300 555 3344 and speak to a member of the team (our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 09:00am – 17:00).