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Loneliness and isolation

Photo: Loneliness can have a big impact on our mental health, but it can be hard to admit we feel that way.

Loneliness is the feeling of being alone or unwanted, even if you have lots of people around you.

There are lots of reasons why someone might feel lonely. You might live somewhere rural, where it’s hard to meet up with friends. You might find it hard to meet new people, especially if you can’t hear them very well. You might be missing someone you used to be close to, or feel like the people around you don’t understand you.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of people have been feeling more lonely than usual. If you've been working from home or live on your own, it might have felt especially hard.

Admitting that you feel lonely can be tough. You might feel like nobody will care, or that it’s not cool to talk about it. It’s important to remember that even people who seem to have lots of friends and family around them might still feel lonely.

When we feel lonely for a long time, it can affect how we think and behave. Here are some things that might help.

5 top tips for feeling less lonely

1. Tell someone you trust how you feel. The chances are, the person you tell will have felt lonely themselves at some point. They might even know how to help.

2. Join a club, group or sports team. It’s easier to make friends if you’re sharing an activity together. Visit the UK Deaf Sport Directory to find a sports club near you. 

3. Get involved with your local deaf community. Most deaf clubs have Facebook pages or websites which you can use to make deaf friends in your area. 

4. Become a volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, and knowing that you're making a difference can give your self-esteem a boost, too.

5. If you feel isolated from your family, try to talk to them about ways they can help you feel more included. For example, you could all learn basic sign language, or agree to eat dinner together once a week.