Do you often feel alone?
You aren’t the only one.
In the United Kingdom, about 1 in 5 people say that they often feel lonely.
Unfortunately, these feelings of loneliness can be quite damaging to your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, there are several techniques you use to connect with other people and to reduce the loneliness you may be experiencing.
This post will share the best of these techniques, which will also help you expand your social circle and get more enjoyment out of life.
Spend more time exploring the outside world
One of the easiest techniques for meeting new people is to step out your front door more often.
Go for a walk every afternoon around your local neighbourhood and say hello to the people you see.
After greeting the same familiar faces a few times, introduce yourself.
Most people will be happy to start a conversation and chat about what is happening.
Don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t want to strike up a conversation — they may be extremely busy or stressed.
You may find that older people are more interested in having a chat, because they often have more time available.
The great thing about spending time outdoors is that the simple act of being in a public space can alleviate feelings of isolation.
The smiles, greetings, and friendly glances that you receive can remind you that you are not alone.
Volunteer for a charity
Volunteering is one of the most rewarding activities you can undertake if you are feeling lonely.
It provides you with an opportunity to give something back to your community while meeting incredible people who are generous and kind.
There are thousands of charities across the UK that are looking for volunteers.
You can care for wildlife, mentor young people, feed the homeless, spend time with the elderly, or raise money for charities.
To learn more about the volunteering opportunities that are available, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/get-involved/take-part/volunteer.
Maintain your current relationships
When you have spent too much time alone, you may come to believe that the people in your life don’t care about you.
This is not true.
Most people have very busy lives, which makes it difficult to remain in contact with the people they care about.
Your friends and family love you and value you, but they may be so snowed under with work and social commitments that they haven’t had time to call or meet up.
You will have to make the effort to call or text them first.
They will be delighted to hear from you and eager to have a conversation or to meet up somewhere.
Show them that you are available and care about what they are doing — they will reciprocate those sentiments.
Join a club relating to a hobby or pastime
There are thousands of social clubs across the UK, dedicated to everything from reading books to playing sports.
Joining these clubs gives you the opportunity to spend time with people who enjoy the same things you do.
Because they have similar interests, you will be able to immediately have in-depth conversations and will find them easy to relate to.
One of the easiest ways to find social clubs that you are interested in is to use a website like meetup.com.
Looking at the page for London, you can see meetups for:
- London weekend walks (explore the local area)
- 45+ Not grumpy old Londoners (a group of friendly people who meet up for adventures)
- Terrible football (amateur football players)
- London on board (a group that loves board games)
If there aren’t any meetups in your local area, look at the notice boards in your local shopping centre, community centre, or library for local groups.
You can also ask people you know if there are any interesting groups locally.
Join an online community
There are thousands of vibrant online communities which give you the opportunity to meet like-minded people.
They are particularly useful for people who are introverted and find it difficult to meet people in real life.
Many communities will use web forums that allow users to create new discussion threads.
However, it’s becoming more common for communities to use social media websites like Facebook to communicate with one another.
Here is a useful list of the biggest online communities.
Use a befriending service (or volunteer at one)
Befriending services are designed to help people avoid social isolation.
Volunteers will visit your home for a up of tea or accompany you on an activity like going for a walk.
They also offer over-the-phone befriending services, where you have a regular chat on the phone with someone.
You have the option of either using one of these services or volunteering to help others.
Spend some time with animals
Researchers have found that spending time with animals is a great way to relieve stress, anxiety and depression.
It can also ease feelings of loneliness.
Dogs are a perfect choice for alleviating loneliness because they are so energetic, fun-loving, and affectionate.
If you don’t own a dog, ask someone you know if you can take their dog for a walk once or twice a week.
You could also advertise your services as a dog walker.
There are many dog owners who pay to have their dog walked — you could do it for free.
An added bonus of walking a dog is that people seem more approachable if they are with an animal.
You will suddenly be approached by many people wondering if they can give your cute dog a pat.
Before you know it, you will have met many new people in your local area.
Ask for help
If you are still lonely and it is getting to the point where it is affecting your mental health — ask for help.
These helplines have the resources to help you deal with any difficult emotions you are currently experiencing.
Thanks for reading How To Connect When You Feel Alone.
For more information on combating loneliness, browse our website or contact us today.