Loneliness can affect everyone, from young to old and no matter what our profession or current situation is. Connection and communication are vital for us to maintain good mental health and being part of a community allows us to build those connections needed to tackle loneliness.

As the world starts to recover from Covid-19 and the social distancing measures that came with it, many people are feeling the effects of social isolation and being apart from family. As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought it was the perfect time to write down our ideas for beating loneliness and looking after our mental health.

Read below to find our top tips for tackling loneliness:

1) Reach out

Let someone around you know how you’re feeling. It could be a chat with a friend or neighbour or a phone call with a family member. Sometimes a friendly chat with someone you know can make a big difference, even if you can’t see them face to face. Think about people you know who might be feeling lonely and make an effort to contact them too.

2) Join a local community group

Search for groups online. It could be a reading group, local craft group or an organisation offering day trips. Being part of a community with people who share similar interests can be a great way to meet new people and make new connections.

3) Do Things You Enjoy

Sometimes loneliness can feel more difficult to deal with when we’re feeling bored. Keeping busy with activities we like doing can massively reduce the effects of loneliness on our mental health. Why not start painting or sewing? If you’re not sure where to start, think about what you enjoyed doing as a child. You might even find a new hobby!

4) Volunteer

Volunteering is another great way to reduce loneliness. Not only does it offer an easy way to make new friends and meet new people, but it also offers an opportunity to do something good for your local community. Why not make a Do-It account to find a volunteer role in Milton Keynes or contact someone at Community Action:MK by emailing: .

5) Take Yourself Out

For a lot of people, feeling lonely can be linked to not having friends to do things with. Sometimes going out alone is a great way to feel connected to the world. You could take a walk in nature, have a picnic in the park and read a book, or go out for a coffee alone. Strike up a conversation with people who are around you, they might be feeling the same and you never know when you’ll meet a new friend.

6) Share your feelings

Sometimes all it takes is letting someone know how you’re feeling for your mood to improve. If you’re struggling to tackle feeling lonely or living in social isolation, reach out to local organisations. Take a look at our signposting page to find local groups who will be able to support you and help you to make connections in the local community.