Dealing with isolation
Are you feeling isolated? Or do you know someone who may be lonely? There is help available.
With many schools working remotely due to Covid19, it’s been difficult to maintain friendships and relationships. Some of our fun activities including sports and hobbies have temporarily stopped and it can feel like our worlds have shrunk.
Many of us feel lonely at times and this can impact on our mental health. When you also have pressures from school, such as exams, peer pressure and assignments, feeling like you’re on your own is very hard.
Everyone in the world gets lonely sometimes. Being aware of it is a good first step. If you or someone you know is feeling lonely here are some things that may help.
Find your tribe
Everyone has a place where they belong in the world. Find yours by connecting with the things that make you happy or consider doing something completely new. This will help you meet people with similar interests or stir a new passion you never knew you had.
Use detective thinking
When a negative thought comes over you, take a deep breath and think about whether there is evidence for your worry.
- What are the facts?
- What are some other possible explanations?
- What is likely and unlikely?
- Was my initial worry correct last time?
- Is the object of my worry going through a touch time themselves?
- What do my trusted adults think about this worry?
Practice your skills
Due to Covid19 and lockdowns we are all a little out of practice. Don’t expect that you’ll make friends instantly, it does take time. Try this as a way to make new connections or reconnect with old friends:
- Smile and say hello
- Introduce yourself and ask an opened ended question
- Allow time for the other person to ask you a question
- Follow up by asking what they are interested in and use extra questions to explore these topics.
In your feeling worried, practice with a trusted adult or family members first. Make a phone call to Grandma, she might be feeling lonely as well.
If you are still feeling drained it might be time to recharge and take care of yourself. Some focus areas could include:
- Getting more sleep
(find out more about sleep issues at ReachOut)
- Taking a break from screens and technology
(Headspace has a PDF with tips on reducing your screen time)
- Exercising with a walk, run or do a virtual aerobics class online
- Read a book or write in a journal
- Try meditation
(see ReachOut's 'WTF is Mindfulness Meditation').
It’s ok to ask for help
There are many people and organisation that can support you if you want to talk. You can speak with your trusted adults, your teacher or make an appointment with someone from the school counselling service at school.
Outside of school consider:
- Joining an e-Headspace group chat, the ReachOut community or a Beyond Blue forum
- Find free and confidential services that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We're wishing all Year 12 students the best of luck for their final exams!