In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, 9 – 15 May, Somerset County Council has put together ten top tips to fight loneliness.
Mental Health Awareness Week, run by the Mental Health Foundation, focuses on improving good mental health throughout the country. This year’s theme is exploring the impact of loneliness and how we can tackle it.
The theme was picked following the outcome of some research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation which found there had been an increase loneliness and a public mood to have it addressed as a serious topic, requiring urgent action.
Feeling lonely is something that anyone can experience at any time and it can have a huge impact on a person’s wellbeing. Long-term loneliness is closely linked to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
Sometimes admitting to feeling lonely can be hard, but it is important to remember that many people experience feelings of loneliness too, and there are things you can do to make things better.
Our top ten tips:
- Connect and spend time with the people around you. Your relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours can support your mental wellbeing and make you feel better.
- Call up a friend or a family member for a chat? Spending time with the people around you, even if it is just over the phone or online, can make you feel better.
- Keeping active is a great way to improve your mental wellbeing, but this doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym. Take a walk, a stroll in the garden or just dance around the living room to your favourite music. There are lots of great ideas to get outside at https://getoutsideinsomerset.co.uk/ to help you.
- Make sure you get your covid vaccine booster– catching Covid would mean isolating, making you cut off from your friends and family.
- Take some time to be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
- Learn a new skill – why not learn to cook a favourite dish that you’ve never eaten at home? Or sign up for that course you’ve always wanted to do?
- Rediscovering an old hobby can improve your wellbeing? Whether it is model making, knitting, singing or writing stories.
- The smallest act of giving can make a huge difference, whether it’s a kind word, a thank you or even just a smile.
- Become more mindful, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/
- Volunteering within your local community can help improve your wellbeing as well as making a difference to others. To discover local volunteering opportunities that are right for you – visit https://volunteering.somerset.gov.uk/ or www.sparkachange.org.uk.
Everyone’s mental wellbeing changes throughout their life, but it’s important not to just put up with poor mental health. If you’re concerned about how you are feeling, please speak to your GP or visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/
Mindline is a confidential listening service that is open twenty-four hours a day – 01823 334906. They can give emotional support and provide access to mental health services if required.