Loneliness

loneliness

Today is World Mental Health Day and I want to talk about loneliness. New research has shown that loneliness is no longer just a problem that only impacts older people, it can also impact younger people too. What this new research highlights is the fact that a large percentage of adults are reporting feeling loneliness for one reason or another, which is a rather sad concept – no one should feel lonely. Loneliness is something that many experience every day.

I’m not going to lie, loneliness can be difficult to deal with and can have a huge impact on your mental health and happiness, which is why it’s essential that if you are struggling with loneliness that you take steps to change that.

The fact is that while it’s not always easy to improve the social life that you have and step out of leading a lonely life, it is possible to do so. Are you wondering what it takes to lead a more sociable life and stop feeling lonely? Have a read of the tips below and implement them in terms of how you lead your life.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

One of the number one reasons that people suffer from loneliness is because they struggle to step outside of their comfort zone. If you are the kind of person who struggles with anxiety, stepping outside of your comfort zone might not be as easy as you would think. It’s hard to be brave but worth the effort. You need to find the courage to take that leap of faith, a great way to do that is to set an incentive for yourself if you manage to do something that you wouldn’t normally do. You might find that despite wanting to that you just can’t, and in that case, it could be time to ask for

Set Aside Time for Socialising

With the hectic work schedules that many of us have, it’s not always easy to make time for seeing friends or making new friends. However, unless you want to be lonely, it’s essential that you set aside time each week for seeing your friends or for making new ones. Take a look at your weekly schedule and determine when and where you can fit time in to socialise. By making time for this you can ensure that you actually have time to see your friends. It’s all about prioritising your self-care.

Try Something New

Sometimes, it can feel impossible to make new friends. Meeting new people is easy when you’re younger; when you’re mixing with lots of people at school or university, but as you get older it can become extremely difficult to meet new people. One of the best ways to meet someone new is by trying out new things.

The first step to take when it comes to finding something new to do is to Google activities in your local area. You will be amazed at the wide range of options that are available for you to try, from tango classes to sign language classes. You will also find that there are various socials arranged, such as walks, *pub crawls, and sports match watching events that anyone can attend. It’s not always easy making new friends, but trying out new things can make the process far easier, particularly if you attend a wide number of different local activities and events.

Not sure what to try out? Think about what you enjoy doing and look for local events and activities that might fit your interests. For instance, say you enjoy playing sports, perhaps you could find a local sports club to join, or if you’re someone who loves to cook, perhaps you could opt to join a local cooking class.

Loneliness is a serious problem and can have a serious impact on your general health and happiness, which is why it’s so important that you find a way to combat loneliness and improve your social life in a positive way. Hopefully, the tips and ideas above will help you to do that, so that you can prevent lonliness and associated problems from occuring in your life.

If you are struggling with any physical or mental health issues please see your GP who will be able to offer tailored support to meet your individual needs and also signpost you to other sources of help.

*Always drink responsibly.

Balancing Your Mental And Physical Health

mental and physical health, beach, sea

Your mental and physical health go hand in hand; taking care of them both simultaneously is an absolute must for a long, happy, healthy life. You can’t just exercise and eat right while ignoring your spiritual and emotional needs. You might look good on the outside, but it’s doubtful that you’ll feel good on the inside. This is something I’ve learned over the years and is something I wish I’d known sooner.

Many things you do can affect both your mental and physical health as one; it’s very rare that one doesn’t influence the other. Read on for some *useful advice on taking care of both aspects of your health:

Exercise And Eat Right

Exercising and eating right isn’t just good for the way you look and your physical health, but the way you feel, too. Exercising and eating right can have the following benefits:

  • Stronger body
  • Better quality of life
  • Find it easier to perform certain tasks
  • Live a longer life
  • Have a healthier mind and happier outlook
  • Fend off mental and physical diseases
  • Stress relief

Above are just a few of the main benefits of eating right and exercising. You don’t have to be perfect, and you certainly don’t have to exercise every day. Simply getting into a routine that works for your lifestyle will work. Just remember that you need to enjoy it, or you won’t stick to it! This has long been something that I have struggled with but I am making the effort and trying new things. From a mental and physical health point of view though I need to keep my efforts up.

Find Work That You Enjoy

We spend the majority of our lives at work, so it’s super important to find work that we enjoy. If you’re going to work 5 days a week in a job that means absolutely nothing to you, you’re likely not going to feel great. Work is a huge drain on your time and energy, so you want to make sure that it’s meaningful to you and that you enjoy it. If you’re really into a subject, let’s use fitness as an example, start looking at courses you can take and personal trainer interview questions to prepare. You can always change your working situation if you want to, so don’t feel like you’re stuck. Put an emergency fund into savings and figure out what your dream is. Go for it. Life is too short not to! I took the big scary leap into self-employment over twelve years ago when my eldest was born and haven’t looked back.

Meditate to Aid Mental and Physical Health

Meditation is an activity that we would all do every day if we only understood it and the benefits. Meditation helps us to get in touch with who we really are at our core and helps us to feel like we’re part of something bigger than ourselves – which we are. Below are some more benefits of meditation:

  • More clarity
  • More creativity
  • A happier, calmer outlook
  • A more positive mindset
  • More focus
  • Better sleep
  • Better physical health
  • Less stress

If we could all just meditate for at least 10 minutes a day, it would do us the world of good. Rather than turning to an escape, meditate. Use an app to help you. If you get into a consistent routine, you will soon experience the benefits for yourself. It’ll likely be hard at first, but all good things are worth the effort. I meditate and completed a mindfulness diploma at the beginning of the year. I’ve not looked back.

Find Ways To Reduce Stress

Stress is a big hindrance for both physical and mental health. By finding ways to reduce stress, you’ll find that work gets easier, maintaining your home is a breeze, and you actually meet your health and fitness goals more easily. Just because stress is invisible, doesn’t mean you don’t suffer from it. It can cause tummy aches, hair loss, appetite changes, sleep changes, and more. It really is something you need to watch out for and combat if possible. Easier said than done, I know, but even small changes can alleviate stress.

Make Sure You’re Getting Adequate Quality Sleep

Getting plenty of sleep is good, but getting plenty of high-quality sleep is better. If you’re getting 9 hours a night but it’s broken, you’re going to feel just as bad in the morning as if you got less than 6.

People tend to need varying amounts of sleep, depending on age, activity levels, climate, and more. One person might function well on 6 hours a night, somebody else may need 9. Aim for 8 hours quality sleep and see how you feel. You’ll know if you need more or less based on whether you feel like snoozing your alarm in the morning, and how you feel throughout the day!

To help your body get into a natural rhythm, go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. You may not even need an alarm if you do that for long enough. Just remember to do it on weekends too. If you find yourself constantly wanting to sleep in on the weekend, it’s a sign of sleep deprivation during the week. Below are pointers that will help you to get better sleep in order to make positive changes to your mental and physical health:

  • Wind down at least an hour before bed with no technology
  • Avoid caffeine later on in the day
  • Drink sleep tea before bed time
  • Make sure your bedroom and bed is suitable
  • Take a hot bath
  • Set a nice atmosphere with room sprays and aromatherapy
  • Make sure your room is completely dark

I thrive on six hours of quality sleep, other people are different. What we (Roy and I) do love is our Lumie lamp which gently wakes up with increasing levels of light rather than a jarring loud alarm going off.

Take Time Every Day For Self-Care

You should be taking time every day for self-care, whether that’s exercising or making yourself a nice healthy meal. When you take better care of yourself, you can take better care of those around you.

Spend Less Time With Toxic People

If you have toxic people in your life, it’s time to remember that they could be draining you. Pay attention to the people who make you feel energized and those who make you feel drained and not good enough. This is a lesson I learned the hard way and can now say that I surround myself only with positive people, people who bring happiness to my life and I’m very grateful for them.

*These tips, based on my own experiences are no substitution for proper medical advice so please see your GP if you are struggling with your physical or mental health.

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