We can all feel lonely from time to time.
But if loneliness is affecting your day-to-day life, you might need some support to help manage it.
Feeling lonely can also have a negative impact on your mental health, especially if these feelings have lasted a long time. Although feeling lonely isn’t in itself a mental health problem, it is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress.
Your first port of call may be self-help as it’s the most accessible option. Simply paying attention to your own emotional needs can sometimes ease the effects.
Self-help may include:
- Relaxation and breathing exercises
- Speaking to someone you can trust
- Eating healthily
- Exercising regularly
- Limiting your intake of caffeine and sugar
- Accepting help from others
Talking therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), might help you deal with the symptoms of anxiety. CBT tries to change the way you react to situations by adjusting the way you think and behave with ‘coping skills’.
Sometimes it may be necessary to use medication to lessen your anxiety. You can see a list of medicines we might offer you on our Choice and Medication portal.
If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 free from a landline or mobile phone.
Safespace provides instant support if you’re vulnerable and need assistance with your mental health out-of-hours. You can speak to the team using Zoom or by calling in via telephone, between 6pm and 10pm, Monday to Friday.
Open Minds offers a range of therapies aimed at helping you to deal with mental health issues and should be your first port of call if you’re looking for support. You can self-refer to Open Minds online.
You could also consider making an appointment with Simply You – our beauty and holistic therapy service. They have a range of treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
NHS mood self-assessment: This short questionnaire will help you understand how you’re feeling and signpost you to the most appropriate support.
Orcha Apps Library: This library lists thousands of NHS-approved health apps, making it quick and easy for you to find support.
NHS audio guides: Listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides through the NHS website.
Age UK: Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone through their information and advice, services, campaigns, products, training and research.
Samaritans: Whatever you're going through, Samaritans are there to help 24 hours a day via phone, email and letter.
Campaign to End Loneliness: A campaign aiming to make loneliness a thing of the past - particularly for older adults.
NHS mental wellbeing audio guides: The NHS have put together a series of audio guides to help you build your confidence.
Do-it.org: Volunteering can be a great way to make new connections and do good in your community, and you can find local opportunities here