Loneliness can be very damaging for our health and wellbeing. In this guest post Julie Breslin - Head of the Drink Wise, Age Well programme - shares five ways to overcome loneliness, inspired in-part by the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
Volunteering is now widely recognised as being good for our mental and physical health. You can use your skills, experience and interests to help other people, but equally will be welcomed into numerous third sector organisations if you simply want to meet like-minded people and make friends.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, but have maybe never found the time one simple first step could be to find out what’s available in your local community. Your local library is a good place to start, even if you just want to lose yourself in a good book.
Letting someone know how you feel can be daunting, but GP surgeries are now very well equipped to sign-post people to local services that will be able to help you connect with appropriate health professionals, or initiatives including those that foster being neighbourly.
Surf the net
There is so much good information online, which might help you recognise your problem and offer solutions. The Network of Wellbeing is a great example of a site that “curates” content on the theme of wellbeing leading you to explore themes and activities you might not otherwise. Drink Wise, Age Well's website contains lots of useful resources, and has details of resilience activities in our five localities.
It can help to simply appreciate what you have around you. Loneliness can sometimes make you see problems as being insurmountable. But if you take a step back, a kindly neighbour, lively community centre, or garrulous gardening group might only be a stone’s throw away.
For more information on Drink Wise, Age Well and the work we do to tackle loneliness you can read another recent post: Volunteering Vital for Health and Wellbeing at All Ages.
For more on tackling loneliness, please visit https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/.