Did you know
32% of 16 - 24 year olds in Suffolk say they feel lonely 'often or all of the time'?
Loneliness – the state we’re in: Age UK, 2012
The Mental Health Foundation found loneliness to be a bigger concern to young people than the elderly! If you're feeling lonely, you're not alone, there are things you can do to make yourself feel less lonely. Just by being aware of these feelings, you are taking a step in the right direction.
Loneliness is a sort of empty feeling, like you don't know who you can turn to, like you feel disconnected. It's a really personal feeling, you may have lots of people around you, yet you can still feel lonely. Have you heard people that have lived or live in London (a population of nearly 9 million people) say that it feels like the loneliest place on earth? Feelings of loneliness are connected with your emotional well-being too and can be accompanied by stress, low mood and anxiety.
But feelings of loneliness are helpful because they remind us that we need to look for ways to re-connect and get involved with people, friends and family and the things we enjoy doing. What is making you feel lonely? How could you change it?
Log onto social media and it can feel like everyone else is having an amazing time and has it all sorted, but that doesn't mean they do, you can't know how people are feeling when they are alone - so don't give yourself a hard time and be careful when comparing yourself to others. Lots of people feel lonely at some point.
Could you help someone who is feeling lonely? Watch this video experiment to see how they may be feeling? Ask that person how they are, give them a smile, give them a compliment, ask if they would like to do a hobby together and if they are a good friend you could tell them some things you like about them to remind them of their worth. Think how someone helped you when you were having a bad day, what did someone do that made you feel better?
What makes people feel lonely?
- Moving to a new area, or your friends moving away
- Finishing school, college or university
- Being unemployed or having money worries
- Falling out with your friends or just growing apart
- A relationship breaking up
- The death of someone close to you
- Having to care for a family member
- Shyness or low self-confidence
- Physical or mental health conditions
What can you do if you're feeling lonely?
- Take a look at our Whats Up Challenge - tips and challenges to help you get back in touch with you and what makes you feel good :)
- Re-connect with people around you. Have a conversation with someone you used to like speaking to but you haven't in a while, a family member, trusted adult or good friend.
- Tell someone how you are feeling. If you are not who to talk to, you could text a school nurse on 07507 333356 (ChatHealth) for free confidential advice and support.
- Get involved in something - Look for voluntary opportunities www.volunteersuffolk.org.uk
- The children and young people's Emotional Wellbeing Hub provides an online referral for support and a telephone helpline (0345 600 2090) if you are worried about you or a friend's emotional wellbeing and need advice.
- Find a local youth group
- Search for interest groups on Infolink
Childline have some good ideas to help you feel better
Mind have ideas about coping with loneliness.
Read about the five ways to wellbeing which are: connect with others, be active, give and volunteer, keep learning, take notice and live in the present