The theme for Mental Health Awareness 2022 was loneliness.
Loneliness comes about if you feel that aren’t being understood or cared for by the people around you. Feelings of loneliness are personal and everyone’s experiences can vary.
According to Mind, financial difficulties can be one of the causes of loneliness as some people can feel guilty or ashamed for talking about their money worries.
Some research suggests that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress.
If you are struggling financially, consider seeking financial support from advisory bodies such as:
Citizens Advice Bureau
Mental Health & Money Advice
The Money Charity
Here is how to cope with loneliness:
1. Try to do some enjoyable things that will keep you busy such as gardening, going to the gym, jigsaws or even cooking.
2. Try to do things that will stimulate your mind such as listening to podcasts, taking a course or even talking to someone familiar.
3. Think about doing physical activity. Simply going for a walk in the park when you’re feeling overwhelmed, dancing or even doing some yoga can help tackle loneliness.
4. Try to engage with people that you meet in daily life. A simple ‘hi’ can lift your mood straight away.
5. Find people that connect with you. By finding people that have been through a similar experience to you. Interacting with people that ‘get you’ can give you a sense of belonging that may be missing.
6. Spend time with pets – they are known to help reduce stress levels as well as provide us with unconditional love and support.
7. Get professional help – Talking therapies offer a safe way to work through your feelings and thoughts without judgement. To find your local resources, you can visit the NHS website.