How To Combat Loneliness

Feeling lonely and Eating Disorders

Being lonely can be extremely damaging to your mental health and isolation can heighten the feelings of anxiety and depression you may already be battling. Even if you have people around you, you may still feel lonely and afraid of putting yourself back out there.

People who suffer from eating disorders and other mental illnesses may feel isolated and lonely because of the battles they are facing within themselves. 

These problems can cause you to push people away or isolate yourself as you may not feel comfortable discussing your issues with people and might be afraid of them coming up in conversation. 

There are many eating disorder clinics and support groups that can help you through the dark times and discuss with you all the worries you may have, including feeling isolated and alone.

The first step in combatting loneliness is to understand that as dark as it may seem, you aren’t ever actually alone. There are many resources available to you to help get you back on track and you can take this at your own pace.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to bounce right back into being a social butterfly. If you have been experiencing loneliness for a long time, opening up can seem terrifying. Try and take it step by step and build your confidence back up slowly. 

First, you should take some time to enjoy activities alone. This may seem counterproductive to preventing oneliness but giving yourself the space to become more comfortable by yourself can aid you in gaining the confidence to meet up and enjoy activities with friends again. 

Try and take small trips out with friends once or twice a week, or give someone you love a phone call. Even the action of speaking with people can help boost your confidence enough to try more adventurous activities. 

If you used to enjoy social activities or were part of any clubs, you could see if a friend or loved one will go with you so the anxiety of attending alone is relieved. This is another way to make new friends, which can also help reduce feelings of isolation. 

Try not to push yourself too hard. You may feel like you should be ready to get straight back into things, but just because others are moving at a faster pace doesn’t mean you have to. Remember to listen to your body and mind and take it easy on yourself.

Having pets can also help to reduce loneliness. Even though they can’t talk to us, animals are fantastic company and can help you to feel less alone as you will have your own companion by your side every day. 

If you are struggling to take these steps, you might want to consider talking to an organisation or charity that can help give you some ideas on how to start getting yourself back on your feet.

Remembering that it is okay to ask for help, no matter what the problem is, is important in recovery. Although you may not feel like loneliness is a big issue, it can be very damaging to be isolated for a long time. Seeking help is the first step in starting to get better.

Published: 30 September 2022