Experiencing and Managing Loneliness

It’s not uncommon to experience loneliness at times during our life. What is important is learning how to best manage that loneliness so it doesn’t negatively affect your wellbeing and mental health and there are many ways to do so!

Take a look below at some of the experiences from other young people to see how they have experienced loneliness in their own way but also how they’ve managed it.

Olu from Aberdeen – Moving to Scotland, I missed my friends and felt lonely. I first realised I felt lonely when I spent hours scrolling through social media and texting my friends back home. I had moved to a new city where I didn’t know anyone, and the lack of social interaction was starting to take a toll on me.

Loneliness means different things to different people but is a feeling of emptiness and disconnection. For me, it felt like I was missing out on something, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling off. I feel lonely when I have no one to talk to or spend time with. It’s a feeling of isolation and disconnect from the world around me.

Various things can trigger loneliness, such as a breakup, moving to a new place, or even losing a loved one. However, in my case, it was moving to a new place. It’s a natural human emotion that we all experience at some point.

The best way I deal with feeling lonely is by getting out of the house and doing something I enjoy. I started to explore my new city, signed up for a gym membership, and joined a few social clubs. It was scary at first, but I soon realized that many people were just like me, looking for connections and friendships. I also tried to keep in touch with my friends back home, even if it was just a quick text or a phone call.

Feeling lonely also allowed me to understand what it is, and I could better support those experiencing it. If someone is experiencing loneliness, I will be there for them by listening and offering support. Sometimes, it takes a simple conversation to make someone feel less lonely. I also encourage them to try new things and meet new people. It can be scary to put yourself out there, but the rewards are worth it. Making new friends and connections can help combat loneliness and improve mental health.

Loneliness is a pervasive problem today, with many people feeling disconnected and isolated. It’s essential to recognize that loneliness is a natural human emotion and that it’s okay to feel lonely sometimes. However, taking steps to combat loneliness and improve our mental health is vital. Whether getting out of the house, trying new things, or reaching out to friends and family, there are many ways to combat loneliness and improve our overall well-being.

Groups like social clubs and university societies are great for making new friends with similar interests. You might feel nervous going to something on your own but you could also make friendships for life! Take a look at this video from Esther on how she benefited from university societies.

@young.scot

Have you ever considered joining a society at your university or college? Esther shares why she thinks it’s a good idea to get involved with some of the societies available on campus. If you’re looking for more information or support with loneliness you can find out more at young.scot/loneliness #YouthLoneliness #YoungScot #UniSociety #Scotland @WhoCares?Scotland

♬ original sound – Young Scot

Hope from Perth and Kinross – I first experienced loneliness at school where I always felt different and like I didn’t fit in there due to my autism. I had friends but couldn’t always relate to what they were talking about and I struggled with understanding social cues/body language which made it hard to join in with conversations.

My Asperger’s makes it difficult making new friends as I find social situations challenging. I’m not great around new people as I go really shy/anxious and find it hard to make conversation.

To overcome this I’ve tried to put myself around there and attend local groups to meet new people to help with my shyness.

Niem from Falkirk – The first time I truly understood what loneliness was, was when I heard the laughter of the children playing in the park outside my window.

It was a distant echo, a sound that seemed to come from another world. As I sat in my silent room, surrounded by the muted colours of my walls and the quiet hum of my computer, I felt a heavy weight press down on me. The laughter of the children was a stark contrast to the silence in my room. Their voices soared like birds, their laughter painting the air with joy. I watched them from afar, a silent observer, longing to join in their merriment, but feeling like an outsider, an interloper in their world of shared laughter and camaraderie.

A pang of loneliness pierced my heart, a sharp reminder of the void that I felt within. I had always been a solitary person, content in my own company, but lately, the silence had become deafening, the emptiness echoing through my days. I tried to fill the void with distractions, immersing myself in books and movies, and the virtual world of my computer screen. But the more I tried to escape, the more aware I became of my isolation.

The loneliness seeped through the cracks of my digital fortress, a persistent ache that refused to be silenced. I longed for connection, for a shared understanding, for a bond that would bridge the chasm of solitude. I craved a friendship that would nourish my soul and fill the void within. But the people that I met seemed distant, their lives a blur of activity and connection, leaving me feeling further isolated.

It was then that I realized that loneliness was not just about being alone; it was about the yearning for connection, for deeper understanding, for a sense of belonging. It was the ache of the soul for a companionship that went beyond superficial interactions. I decided to confront my loneliness, to break free from the shackles of isolation and seek out the connections that I craved.

I joined a book club, hoping to find kindred spirits who shared my love of literature. I volunteered at a local animal shelter, seeking solace in the companionship of furry friends. Slowly but surely, I began to forge new connections, to chip away at the walls of my solitude. The laughter that once seemed distant began to echo closer, the weight of loneliness lifting from my shoulders. I discovered that companionship was not a luxury but a necessity, a lifeline that kept me tethered to the human experience.

Volunteering is a great way to manage your loneliness as it encourages you to regularly connect with other people and ensures you are not inside on your own for too long at a time. Why don’t you take a look at our Get Involved page and see if any opportunities appeal to you!

RacheI from Glasgow – I first started to realise I was feeling lonely when I moved home after University. I found that everyone went in their different directions and lost touch with a lot of people afterwards. I think the distance was not the issue but not everyone puts in the same effort to maintain contact and keep in touch.

Loneliness means to me that someone is feeling neglected. Whether it be socially, psychologically or just mentally. Sometimes loneliness to me feels like screaming in a void but no one is there to answer. It is that lack of connection that is toughest. I feel lonely when I look online. We see the highlight reels of people’s lives and often I wish I was there to celebrate those good moments.

The best way I deal with feeling lonely is by reaching out! There are people out there, it just takes the right friendships/connections to make it work. Also, remember that other people may also be struggling just like you are so, you’re not alone!

If someone is experiencing loneliness I try to not only remind them that they are loved and valued. I think it also is looking at their love language. Even for friends, do they need words of affirmation or if they need just to have quality time and hang out together, try to make that person feel appreciated on what works for you both. 🙂

If you’re feeling lonely and need support, there are a range of organisations that can support you over the phone, e-mail, text and webchat. Visit our AyeFeel page to find out more.

Find more information and support on loneliness or feeling alone.

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