Updated: Apr 23, 2020
During these strange and worrying times it is natural to feel lonely and distant from others as we practice social distancing to try and slow down the spread of the Coronavirus.
Our daily routine of going to work, school or college has been interrupted and we are now making efforts to limit our social interaction with others - so it is easy for the feeling of loneliness to creep in.
You may be living in a house that is full of people, yet the people that you feel most comfortable with, can confide in and laugh with are separated from you.
You can often feel the loneliest when surrounded by lots of people. Know that many people experience this feeling and it is to be expected during the current situation we are living through.
If you feel lonely you may:
Feel lonely even when surrounded by others
Feel that no one else understands how you feel
Some things that may help you when you are feeling lonely:
Name it – Saying that you feel lonely may feel embarrassing or difficult for you to say out loud however when you express the feeling it can be the beginning of releasing it.
Relaxation – Practise yoga, meditation or breathing techniques to help you disconnect from the world and focus on yourself solely.
Place your hand over your heart – Lack of physical contact and connection can be the cause of loneliness. So even if you don’t class yourself as a ‘touchy feely’ person, physical contact has always been at the centre of feeling safe, secure and cared for. Placing your hand on your heart could do just that – give it a try!
Exercise – It not only benefits your physical health but also your mental health and can assist in the feeling of happiness and contentment by releasing ‘feel good’ endorphins. You can now stream many videos for home work outs, Pilates or yoga etc.
Connect with friends- Even though we are being asked to keep our physical distance from each other why not reach out to your friends through video calls or asking them how they are feeling as it is possible they are experiencing loneliness too.
Work on a hobby – Now is the time to perfect that hobby of yours, whether that be baking, art and craft, drawing, reading or knitting. Spending time on that hobby is a great opportunity to keep the mind and body active.
Other services you where you can reach someone to talk to are: Samaritans offers a 24 hour listening service over text message, text 'Hello' to 087 260 9090 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply) or call 116 123 to talk to someone over the phone. Childline text and instant messaging services are available from 10am - 4am every day to young people under 18, text 'Talk' to 50101 to talk to a trained counsellor by text message or call 1800 66 66 66.
Visit Your GP: We always recommend that you visit your GP. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed. Your doctor is a professional health care provider and will be familiar with how you are feeling. Your mental health is just that - your health. You would visit your GP if you had been feeling physically unwell right ? Your emotional health is just as important as your physical well-being - in fact the two go hand in hand. If you don’t have a current GP you can find a list of services in your area here. You can also contact the CareDoc service on 1850 334 999
Contact the Emergency Services: If you are an immediate danger to yourself and are going through a suicidal crisis please contact the emergency services by dialling 999 or visit your nearest Emergency Department.