Isolation and loneliness
The national and global restrictions on when we can socialise with family and friends can make it difficult to stay connected with one another. As we all play our part in keeping the community safe it is natural to experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. This page will discuss some techniques on how to tackle these feelings as well as detailing support available to you.
Defining isolation and loneliness
Understanding isolation and loneliness
We all feel lonely from time to time. Everyone's experience of loneliness is personal and will be different. Often people associate the idea of loneliness with being isolated and alone, but loneliness is not always the same as being alone.
So what causes loneliness? It can have many causes and again this will be different from one person to another. For some people it is an event in their lives that might bring about feelings of loneliness such as:
- The death of a loved one
- Experiencing a break-up
- Starting university
- Moving house
When we feel lonely, it can have a negative impact on our mental wellbeing, especially if we experience these feelings for a prolonged period of time. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption to the way many of us live our lives, which in turn has prevented us from taking part in activities that might support us when we're feeling lonely or isolated.
Ways to combat loneliness
Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has meant we are often separated and distant from our friends and family, there are some techniques you can use to combat feelings of loneliness.
- Take it slow - if you've been feeling lonely for a while, don't force yourself to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. It can be overwhelming to immerse yourself in social settings when you have been feeling isolated for a while. Start off by going somewhere you can be around people but you're not expected to talk, like a park.
- Make new connections - this might seem a difficult task at the moment, but there are plenty of ways you can make new connections at university. You could join a club or society, take part in a Horizons course, take an idea to the Enterprise Lab or get involved with the Move Imperial community. There's plenty to get involved in and you might you make some meaningful connections along the way.
- Don't compare yourself to others - it's important to remember that you don't know how other people are feeling when they are alone or when they aren't on social media. Try not to compare your experience to that of other people.