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Loneliness and isolation

3-minute read

At some time in your life you may feel lonely or isolated from other people and the world around you. These feelings are normal, but there are many things you can do to overcome them.

Why do I feel lonely or isolated?

You can feel lonely or isolated for many reasons even when other people are around you.

Some reasons you might feel lonely or isolated may come from what is happening in your life, especially if you’ve experienced major changes. These include:

Other reasons to feel lonely or isolated include:

How can loneliness and isolation affect my health?

Feeling connected to others is important for our mental and physical wellbeing and can protect against anxiety and depression. If you feel alone or socially isolated for a long time, you might experience physical or mental problems or do things that are bad for you.

What can help?

You can do many things to help overcome loneliness and isolation and improve your life.

Connecting with family and friends

When you’re feeling lonely, it can be challenging to connect with others but that’s just what you need to do. Reach out to a family member, workmate or neighbour. It can help you feel better and it’s likely they will appreciate a call, text or email.

Connecting with communities online or in person

You might like to join a club, organisation or online community. There are many opportunities, such as volunteering at a local charity, joining a walking or sporting club, or joining an online community for your special interest. This will help you to create and maintain meaningful friendships.

Getting out of the house and being active

Go shopping, join a club or enrol to study. Exercise is very important for improving mental health. Research has shown that regular physical activity can prevent depression.


Volunteering helps you make meaningful connections with people while having a sense of purpose.

Spend times with animals

Pets can also improve your physical and mental health. Pets provide companionship and love. If you have a dog, they need exercise and physical activity is important when you’re feeling low. Talking about pets is a great conversation starter when you meet people.

Resources and support

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