If you're feeling lonely, remember you're not alone. Feeling lonely doesn’t necessarily mean you have no one nearby. You can be surrounded by friends and family but still feel lonely.
How to deal with loneliness
Knowing what can affect your mental wellbeing might help you understand the feelings you’re experiencing and help you think about the steps you can take to look after yourself. This is the best place to start. Although it’s hard, and sometimes there might not even be a reason, it’s a good idea to think about what is making you lonely. It might help you try and find a way of feeling better.
Although it might not feel that way, if you're feeling lonely, remember you're not alone. That feeling of loneliness can hit us at any time in life, often unexpectedly, even if it seems as though we're surrounded by friends and family. Whatever might be making you feel lonely, we are here to help.
What can cause loneliness?
There are different reasons why you might be feeling lonely – perhaps you’ve lost a loved one, moved away from friends and family, lost the social contact and enjoyment you used to get from work, or have health problems that make it difficult for you to go out and do the things you enjoy. There also might not be any clear reason at all to explain how you’re feeling, and that’s fine too.
How can I find someone to speak to?
Talking to people is a great way to relive old memories and remind you of all the positive things in your life.
When you feel lonely it can be tempting to think nobody would want to hear from you. But often you'll find people do want to help. If there are people around you who you can talk to, it can be a good idea to talk about your feelings. This might seem like a difficult conversation to have, but actually talking is often the best way to start feeling better. Talking to someone you know could let them try and help you, while they may not necessarily have the answer it can make you feel listened to and often outside perspectives can really help.
How can I make new connections?
Spending time with other people can prevent you from feeling lonely or anxious and give you a chance to share experiences, thoughts and ideas.
What should I do if I'm worried about my mental health?
Loneliness can have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing. Being lonely can often lead to you feeling worried, low, out of sorts, or just struggling to work up the energy to do things you used to. These are signs you're not feeling as well as you could be. Talking is often the best way to start feeling better. That could be with a family member, your doctor or nurse – whoever you feel comfortable with.
If you speak to your doctor or nurse, they might be able to suggest things you can do to help. Understandably, the idea of talking to someone can be daunting for some, and for others it’s just not in their nature to talk about their feelings. But ignoring it doesn’t make it go away, it’s likely to only make it worse in the long-term. Maybe now is the time to take that first step to helping yourself feel better.
For more information on looking after your mental health, we've a useful guide Your Mind Matters - this guide looks at talking about mental health, the common symptoms of mental health problems and what support is available.
How can Age Cymru help me
There are local Age Cymru partners across Wales. Together, we provide a wide range of services to help people in later life. If you're feeling lonely, contact Age Cymru Advice for details of your local Age Cymru and find out more about the services they offer.