Dealing with Loneliness and Maintaining Social Connections
During this period of lockdown and ongoing change and uncertainty, it can be easy to feel alone and a bit lost. Social distancing and self-isolation mean reduced physical contact with other people, which can also add to feelings of being disconnected from others and the world.
Loneliness is often stigmatised, and people can worry or even find it embarrassing to admit that they feel lonely, but these are very normal feelings. While being alone doesn’t automatically mean we will feel lonely - there are many things we can do, or support others in doing, to help us feel more connected and to create and maintain social connections.
Here are just some ideas:
- Make a plan for your day or week and build in connection where you can – talking about how we’re feeling is always helpful, whether it’s a phone call or Zoom chat with a friend or relative.
- Explore ways to connect with new people through the SRC’s events platform, which has details on a host of student events, clubs and societies.
- Visit the UofG ‘virtual household’ Facebook group, where you can chat to others from the UofG community.
- Take part in a live online exercise class – this can help us feel connected as we’re sharing the experience with others in real time. See the UofG Sport class timetable for some great options.
- Reach out to others who may be lonely too – many others will be in the same boat as you and will really value the opportunity to have a conversation with you.
- Do more things you enjoy – try jotting down a list of the things you enjoy doing to have to hand for times when you need some inspiration.
- Plan with someone to watch a TV show, movie or streaming theatre performance together, or start an online book club, where you meet up virtually to chat about the book (and you could even come up with your ideal cast for the film version!).
- If you are feeling lonely, think about things you can do to feel close to others - for example, you might find it helpful to put up more pictures up of people you care about, as constant reminder of the people in your life.
- Listen to a chatty podcast or pop on a radio station if your home feels too quiet.
- Consider getting outdoors for fresh air and movement and meeting an exercise buddy (while keeping a two-metre distance).
You can find more general hints and tips on managing your health and wellbeing here.
Additional Information & Resources
You can find more information on the CaPS webpages, and if you would like to speak to someone about how you’re feeling, there are a number of support services available:
- All students and staff have access to Togetherall, a safe space online to get things off your chest and learn how to improve and manage your mental health and wellbeing.
- You can self-refer to Counselling and Psychological Services (CaPS) via their website for one-on-one support.
- The International Student Support Team can provide support and guidance for international students You can find details here including upcoming online social events.
- Peer Wellbeing Support (available in many schools and colleges with more to join soon) is a confidential, student-led listening service, where you can speak to trained peers on issues such as anxiety, stress, isolation or loneliness.
- Glasgow University Nightline is a confidential listening service operated by students for students, you can find more information on their Facebook page
The UofG Life app also provides useful links to health and wellbeing resources available to students. With easy access from your mobile, discover more on the services provided by Nightline, Togetherall and CaPS. You can download the app via Apple Store and Google Play. You can also access the app via the University’s app website.
First published: 28 January 2021