This can help if:
- You feel lonely or isolated
- You want to know what causes people to feel lonely
- You want to know what can be done about loneliness
Stuff gets serious
Loneliness doesn't just occur when you’re on your own. People can sometimes feel lonely even when they’re in a crowded room full of people or at a party.
Feeling alone is particularly common when a person is going through a life change, like moving out of home or going to a new school. During these life changes, people you relied on for support aren't always around.
When loneliness starts to impact on your life, you might find that you:
- Withdraw further from the people around you
- Feel sad, unhappy or even depressed
- Don’t like doing the things you used to like
- Find it hard to concentrate
- Start to feel bad about yourself and lose confidence
If you’re feeling lonely there are a number of practical things you can do that might help.
- Talk to people about how you feel. Even if all your friends and family are living somewhere else, give them a ring, email or chat online.
- Think about your interests. Do you love playing football? Reading? Music? Try finding out if there are any clubs or groups around you that organise activities that you might be interested in.
- Get a pet. It’s no secret that animals are great companions. So if you’re an animal person, it could be worth thinking about getting a pet. At the same time, make sure that you have the time and money to spend on a pet because as they say, 'pets aren't just for Christmas'.
- Get online. Find a forum or online space where people with similar interests to you hang out.
If it doesn't get better
If you’ve tried everything and you just can’t shake the feeling of loneliness, you might be dealing with something more complex. If you’re struggling with other things like not sleeping well or feeling really down, it might be worth talking to someone, like a school counsellor or GP, who can help with what you’re experiencing. There is help out there, the ReachOut NextStep tool can help you figure out what support options are best for you.