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Tips for overcoming loneliness

In his latest blog Adrian Ashurst, one of Cygnet’s Specialist Trainers discusses some top tips to overcome loneliness.

No matter what your role is you can and may have experienced loneliness from time to time once you have left the workplace.

I live alone but luckily my grown up children are close by. I see them regularly and we enjoy going out for meals, which gives us the opportunity to catch up.

However, I do suffer at times from loneliness and have tried to discover simple ways of managing my leisure time.

Loneliness can impact everyone and so here are my tips to try to overcome feelings of isolation.

Connect on social media

I have found Facebook groups particularly valuable for sharing my passion for photography with like-minded people; sharing photographs and commenting on each other’s posts.

LinkedIn is another very popular social media platform which can provide valuable opportunities to interact with your professional networks, and colleagues past and present. It’s a great platform for sharing and celebrating team achievements and building a sense of community.

Keep fit and have fun

There are many opportunities to meet others who enjoy routine exercises.

For example gym classes and swimming groups can provide you with regular exercise and opportunities to meet others who are passionate about keeping fit.

Some people enjoy walking and rambling and local walking clubs have become very popular during the last decade.

Park Runs have also seen a great boost in the number of people who run around a course in the local park. The pandemic meant that the club meetings were postponed but thankfully, since the Government have relaxed restrictions, these events have reopened. This is a good way to meet likeminded people of all ages each weekend.

Care for a new pet

Many people living alone find caring for a pet can be the best way of tackling loneliness.

There are many local animal sanctuaries, housing rescued dogs, cats and other pets who are desperate for a kind person to provide them with a warm and happy home.

Dogs need regular exercise and this may give you the opportunity to meet and engage with local dog walkers.

Before you decide to take on a new pet there is a cost associated with caring for a pet including insurance and feeding them. Make sure you do your research!

Join a local club

There are many clubs which provide opportunities to get together with people in your local area and enjoy all kinds of hobbies together – from photography, knitting, learning a language, creative writing and more!

However you do not need to join a club and can undertake these hobbies independently.

Personally, I enjoy photography in country parks where I will often have the opportunity to meet people who also have an interest in photographing wildlife.

Sometimes I book a place in a hide at Rutland Water where I photograph Osprey at close quarters. The number of people is reduced to six but these are keen amateur photographers who share tips to help improve my photography.

I write articles for NRC, a national nursing journal, and take photographs at least three times a week. These help me combat my periods of loneliness.

Find comfort with TV and radio

Many people suffering from loneliness often rely on the radio and TV for company.

The world and local news is available 24/7 which can provide great comfort and keep you up to date on current affairs.

Network through learning

Many friends of mine have decided later in life to learn a new language at their local college and this gives them a chance to mix with a new set of people.

College is a great place to meet new people and there are many social events associated with college life.

Attending local libraries is another way of meeting other people. There is also free access to the internet to read, research and send personal emails.

Religion and faith

Attending local churches, mosques and faith services can provide lots of opportunity for discussions with fellow members.

Many people find support in these places and the opportunity to meet people with a positive outlook on life.

Find companionship through online dating

This is not for everyone, but I have friends who have met each other online and they are very happy in their relationships.

Online dating can provide great comfort to people who may be lonely due to the loss of a partner or spouse, or who have moved to a new area or country.

There are many professional dating agencies which will match you with similar people with interests like yours.

On reflection

Loneliness can happen to anyone and if you feel lonely then please talk to a friend, family member or colleague at work. You must never feel that you have to walk alone.

It is important to remain positive and face loneliness head on.

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