Loneliness & Isolation

 

Are My Feelings Normal?

Everyone feels lonely from time to time. Loneliness comes in many forms. Without regular and positive contact with other people, some of us can feel lonely.

 

Should I Be Worried?

If you feel lonely for a long time, it can bring with it a deep belief that everything is useless and a feeling of isolation - thinking you are separate or different from everyone else. While there are many things that contribute to loneliness, the hardest thing to do is identify and face the things that contribute to your loneliness.

The first thing to ask yourself is what things keep loneliness in your life? Which of the following things apply to you?

  • I feel like I don’t fit in or I don’t belong.
  • I feel like no one understands me
  • I think there is something wrong with me.
  • I get scared and sometimes don't like to try anything new. That includes meeting new people or doing new things.
  • I feel like I am isolated because of my looks, sexuality, race, gender, religious beliefs, intellectual or physical ability.
  • I feel isolated because I have moved to a new place and people speak a different language or have different customs or cultural expectations than me.
  • I feel lonely and isolated because my family’s values and beliefs are very different than the values and beliefs of my friends.
  • Lack of money or lack of affordable community programs mean I spend a lot of my time at home.
  • Sometimes problems at home add to my feelings of loneliness.
  • I feel really nervous around other people or when I have to talk to them. [anxiety]
  • I stay home by myself all the time. I don't go out anywhere.
  • I feel really down and unmotivated. [depression]

     

Tips for Prevention & Wellness

It can take time and energy to replace loneliness and isolation with a sense of belonging. Loneliness can be a big and overwhelming thing. Taking small steps can slowly help you to feel better.

Here are some things that have helped other people to change their feelings of loneliness and isolation:

  • Think about what you do and don't have control over (e. g. you can't change what other people do but you can change what you do!)
  • Set yourself some goals, write them down, and pin them up so you can see them.
  • Try something new, even if it’s a little scary.
  • Invite a new person to hang out, or call/text an old friend.
  • Go to a party when you are asked.
  • Find out about youth groups or clubs in your area and think about joining one. If you are stuck on finding that information, talk to your guidance counselor, child and youth worker, or social worker at your school.
  • Tell someone you trust how you are feeling. Talk to a trained counselor - you can do this over the phone without even saying who you are!  (e. g. Kids Help Phone)
  • When talking or texting with other people, be open to their opinions and views.

 

Overall, think about what is best for you. Take control of what you can. Focus on the things you can change. Take a risk and move out of your 'comfort zone'.

 

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