Agony aunt: combatting feelings of loneliness

I’m the kind of person that thrives from being around people. Do you have any tips to combat feelings of loneliness when I’m on my own?

I love being around others. Now, my housemates would probably disagree because of the amount of time I spend holed up in the library, but, on the rare occasion that I’m not working, I need constant company. And I mean constant. I’m not sure why this is, whether it’s the fact that I’m such a workaholic that I’m bad at relaxing on my own, or whether I just genuinely need attention 24/7. It’s most likely a little bit of both. There are however, of course times when we all end up having far more alone time than we crave. Whether you’re in a rather lonely student accommodation, or simply that you’re bored waiting to return to Leeds, here are my top tips for surviving loneliness when there’s no one around.

1- Keep busy 
It sounds kind of silly but I genuinely find that if I’m busy then I don’t have time to miss the chaos of Hyde Park. Being ‘busy’ doesn’t have to involve any grand plans; painting my nails or reading a book can always keep me happy for a few hours. If you’re feeling really brave, taking up a new hobby is always exciting and can be a great way to meet others! Writing can also be an ideal way to entertain yourself in a productive way: as cliché as it is, a diary really is the best place to spill all your secrets when friends are scarce.

2- Social media can be productive 
This one is maybe a bit of a cheat method because it involves other people, but I find alone time the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends online. Anyone who knows me will confirm how horrific I am at replying to messages, so I quite enjoy when I finally have the chance to properly sit down and type away to old friends who I rarely see. This online catch up is a great way to combat loneliness and let friends know you still care! I even send snail mail to my Gran at times!

3- Pets are the best
This one probably isn’t going to help if you’re in halls, but when you’re at home, pets can be such a comfort! There’s really no better way to combat loneliness than a cuddle with your furry friend. Cat cafes, pet shops and petting zoos are a great substitute while you’re at Uni!

4- It’s okay to do things on your own!!
It’s kind of scary at first but going places and doing things on your own can actually be incredibly empowering. You can start with little things like popping to the shops or local café, where you get to be around people without necessarily having to know them. Then, if you’re feeling brave, work up to more adventurous challenges, like day trips or even holidays on your own. Just because you aren’t around friends or family doesn’t mean you can’t talk to other people – it might even make their day! If your feeling lonely, human interaction really is the solution, even if that just means people watching in your local café, it can still alleviate feelings of loneliness.

If you experience constant feelings of loneliness, writing down your feelings to process them can be a great help and the NHS website actually has some really useful tips for combatting ongoing loneliness. We all need other people to bring sunshine into our lives, so it’s okay to feel a little lost without company. That said, I’m hoping these tips can give a little advice on how to feel less isolated when friends seem in short supply.

Rosie Plummer 

Photo credit: Pixabay