Two friends share a hug.

So this week is Loneliness Awareness Week. Even though it might seem like we’ve all got hundreds of friends and followers on social media, it is still really common to feel alone, or have friends or family who are dealing with it. Thanks to keeping social media in our pockets, it’s super easy to connect and communicate with others, but this can mean that when your phone isn’t buzzing, you find yourself spending a lot of time alone. We’ve put together seven of our best tips to help you out if you find yourself feeling like you’re on your own.

1) Social Media Isn’t Real

Yes, looking at social media, you would not be wrong in thinking that anyone with an Instagram page is having the best time ever, and has the best family ever, the best holiday ever, the best breakfast ever; even the best dog ever. But remember, you are only seeing what people want you to see. You actually have no idea what is really going on behind the screen.

Just because someone has 10,000 followers does not mean they have 10,000 friends. We are all guilty of ‘hyping’ up our lives on social media, so we should know that our profiles are not a wholly accurate representation of our reality. Don’t compare your life, and friendships, to something that is just not realistic or attainable. Comparison is the thief of all happiness.

2) Remember your worth

If you’ve been feeling lonely for quite a while then it’s understandable that you might start to feel unwanted and/or unworthy of other people’s company. This can lead to you seeing social occasions as further opportunity for rejection. You may start to shut yourself off from people as a consequence because you don’t believe your presence will be missed or worthwhile. But always remember, if you have been invited, it’s because your company is wanted! You are deserving of all the love and kindness people have to offer you so accept the invitation, get out there and enjoy yourself!

3) Start something you enjoy

Good friends often have much in common. Find something you enjoy doing and you’re sure to meet some like-minded people. Sporty? Go to an exercise class or join a run club/gym. Arty? Go to a life drawing class or attend an exhibition! Music fan? Get down to your local venue and support some up-and-coming bands! You could even volunteer your time somewhere. Make the effort to introduce yourself and you’ll meet a whole new bunch of people.

4) Compliment yourself

Are you self-doubting? You may have let your insecurities get the better of you, and this might be preventing you from putting yourself out there socially. Try acknowledging one positive thing about yourself a day, as a gradual reminder that you are perfect just the way you are and do not need to change for anyone!

5) Do not settle for bad friends

You may be craving company but don’t give your time to people who do not value or deserve it; you can still feel lonely in the company of others. Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at NYU, noted: “Reams of published research show that it’s the quality, not the quantity of social interaction, that best predicts loneliness.” Ditch the frenemies – you don’t need them!

6) You are not alone in your loneliness

You are definitely not the only one out there feeling lonely. Despite the fact we live in an era where the internet has made communication as simple as a message away, it seems we are lonelier than ever before. With this in mind, don’t be embarrassed to make the first move if you want to reconnect or re-establish relationships with old friends. Missing someone? Text or call them and they’ll more than likely be glad to hear from you.

7) Embrace ‘me’ time

‘I’m gonna be my own best friend‘ – listen to the wise words of Beyonce and learn to enjoy spending time with YOU. When no one is available to hang out, chill with yourself! It can be really revitalising to spend time alone. Take a bath, watch a film, read a book, listen to music, reorganise your playlists! Try to make a list of things you’d love to do when you’ve got a spare minute so that you can always be busy instead of bored. Your own company is just as good as anybody else’s and it’ll prove to you that you’re a great person to be around.

Maybe you feel lonely, but always remember that you’re definitely not alone. For more inspiration, be sure to follow our Instagram @Ditchthelabel.

Need to talk?

Join the internet’s safe space

If you’d like somebody to talk to or get personal advice about how to overcome your loneliness, then you can join our community here.

Feeling lonely is normal. Especially in 2020. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and being locked away in our bedrooms for most of Spring, and big changes to the way we can see our friends and family, loneliness is on the rise. In fact, in our latest Annual Bullying Survey, we found that 82% of you felt lonely at some point. Not only that, but 42% of those who felt lonely, felt so mostly in their own homes. So we’ve written a quick guide to combating loneliness at home.

When others are at home with you, try to spend time with them

It can be tempting to spend a lot of time in your room when you feel down, and feeling lonely can make us feel more depressed and anxious about spending time with people. Try to break the cycle by making yourself go and spend time with the people you live with, even if it’s just for a ten minute chat whilst the kettle is boiling. 

Organise a film and pizza night once a week with the people you live with

If the people you live with are really busy and not around too often, ask if they would be interested in keeping one evening free a week to hang out. Watch movies, eat good food or just have a catch up over a cup of tea. Whatever it is, having one thing a week in your diary will give you something to look forward to and bring you closer to those you live with.

If you don’t get on with who you live with, try to think about why, and see if you can solve it

If you don’t get on with your family, why not try using the fact that you are having to spend more time at home to solve that problem? We know it can be hard, especially when we feel like we are in the right and making the first move can feel like admitting defeat. But trying to sit down and have an adult conversation with whoever it is you don’t get on with will benefit all of you in the long run. You could get a family member, mutual friend or trusted adult to act as a mediator between you, and see if you can both find some common ground. 

Want to know more? You can download the full report here.

Don’t over schedule yourself

It might sound contradictory, but trying to fill your time with everything under the sun is not a good way to stop yourself feeling lonely. In fact, you’ll probably find that as soon as you are alone and have a moment to yourself, those feelings are a lot worse. Instead, have a nice balance, and then you will have the opportunity to start learning how to be alone without feeling lonely. 

Being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely 

Try to get good at spending time on your own. Save some of your favourite things to do for the time you know that you’re going to be alone so that it can become something you look forward to, instead of something you dread. 

Need some more? Read these:

And if you need someone to talk to, we are always here. Reach out to our community here for free support and advice.

Need to talk?

Join the internet’s safe space

Being alone is boring right? With no one to hang out with, you find yourself stuck twiddling your thumbs in your bedroom with nothing to do but catch up on work (*cough* Netflix *cough*). What you may not have discovered yet though is that being alone can be completely and totally amazing. It gives you the chance to do you, away from the stresses and strains that make everyday life barely tolerable. In fact, you’ll soon be able to handle this stress way better than before. We have put together a list of reasons why being alone is the best damn thing for you and your wellbeing, and how you can turn boring time spent doing nothing into glorious golden hours and joy.

1) Recharge yo’ self

We can’t all be going 100 mph without needing a moment to rest, relax and recharge. Alone time is the best for this. Picture the scene – you, alone, in bed, comfy socks on, good book in hand, chilled music on Spotify for a solid couple of hours. Sounds like the dream right? 

2) You get a chance to deal with YOUR sh*t

Taking a breather from other people when you have a lot of stuff going on with you is a really great way to decompress and focus on yourself. It might be that other people are always coming to you for help or advice, behaving selfishly or they just want to mess around and you aren’t in the mood. Whatever it is, it is perfectly normal to feel like you need to take a moment for yourself. Use this chance to try a few methods of working through what you have going on, whether that is writing a letter and not sending it, writing in a journal or using another creative outlet for your emotions and your stuff. 

3) You can do the things you love 

Reconnecting with or discovering new things that you love really can only be done on your own. Always wanted to paint, hike, test out your DJ skills or finally master the art of keepie-ups? Being alone is probably the best way to do this – with no distractions. 

A huge thing that often gets in the way of us starting to learn a new skill is that we might be scared of failing at it. With no one else around to watch you give it a go, you might find it easier to take up something new or reconnect with an old passion, knowing that maybe if you don’t master it straight away, no one will know but you. 

4) There will be so much inner peace 

It might sound like something only a master of yoga and meditation can achieve, but getting used to and eventually enjoying time alone will definitely bring a hefty chunk of inner peace into your world. Spending time doing what you love, dealing with your emotions and basically everything above is a great way to help you feel a bit better every day with who you are. 

5) You will be better at the rest of your life 

Taking care of you will for sure make your life easier in other ways. Disconnecting from the stuff in your life that is stressing you out and going for a hike alone is one of the best feelings in the world and having a moment to empty your brain of all the stuff that fills it up day to day will mean next time you sit down to tackle that essay that has been lurking on your desk for weeks, you are much more likely to think clearly, organise your thoughts and just smash it. 

There you have it – 5 great reasons why being alone can be totally amazing. Obviously, we aren’t saying you should be spending every second of every day on your lonesome, and of course a huge amount of great things come out of seeing your pals on a regular basis. But, being just as happy alone as in a large group of mates can make so much of your life a little bit better. 

Being alone can be amazing. Feeling lonely is a completely different thing. If you are feeling lonely, cut off or disconnected and it’s starting to get you down, reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here and talk to people who will listen.

Need to talk?

Join the internet’s safe space

9 things to help combat loneliness during lockdown.

Whew, what a time, huh? If you’re floating in and out of confusion at the moment, you’re definitely not the only one. Loneliness is one of the biggest challenges for many people during the lockdown. Being alone, or being stuck with the same people or person 24/7 really does take its toll. Here are our top tips on the things you can do to remain social during this difficult time…

You’re not alone in feeling alone

Please don’t forget this. Your bedroom might feel like the loneliest place on the planet at the moment, but most of us are in the same boat and feeling exactly what you’re feeling right now. It’s a strange irony that we’re together virtually, whilst being so physically apart.

Do all the things that make you happy 

Ever been so immersed in doing something that you completely lose track of time? Scientists call this ‘the flow’: an activity that gives you so much enjoyment that the rest of the world seems to just… disappear for a while. People find their flow in different ways, some examples include: gaming, drawing/doodling, composing music, reading, writing and cooking.

If you’re isolating with others, spend quality time together

When it comes to hanging out with people, always opt for quality over quantity. It’s important to have you own space and time alone if you’re isolating with others, but also important to spend quality time together. A few social activities you could suggest include: games night, an online quiz, watching a new boxset or movie or working together on a new project. Once things start to get repetitive or tense, take that as your cue to have some alone time.

Keep your mind active

Whether it’s learning the guitar or becoming a master of Illustrator, now is literally the best time to start learning a new skill or develop the side hustle you’ve been thinking about. If you’re old enough to work and aren’t currently able to, why not consider volunteering for a charity? Find out ways to get involved with Ditch the Label here!

Meet people in other ways 

Start a new blog on Tumblr, join an online game or reach out to others on your favourite social network. The internet is an amazing tool to connect with others, especially when you’re battling isolation. Some of our favourite platforms right now include: Tumblr, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Meetup and The Sims Online.

If you’re isolating away from friends and family – try and get a FaceTime/Houseparty in

It’s normal to feel left out while you navigate this period of time at home by yourself. Be proactive about staying in touch with everyone. Hit up the group chat for updates on their lives or just spam them with GIFs and memes. Set up a FaceTime with your best mate so you feel connected, or reconnect with someone who might have fallen off your radar lately.

Make a plan 

Use this time to get organised for when lockdown is over and make some plans. Whether it’s for your group holiday next year, where you want to move to in a few years or even just ways you want to make changes in your life, this is a great time to think about the future. We know that when you feel lonely, it’s really easy to get caught up in how rubbish everything is now, but thinking about what lies ahead can give you hope for pulling out of your loneliness. Plus, some of these plans will almost definitely involve getting out and hanging out with people at some point, and that’s definitely something positive to focus on.

If all else fails, download The Sims

For real though. Like seriously, give it a go. If you’re feeling especially nostalgic, how about The Sims 2 or HABBO?

Remember, loneliness doesn’t last forever

Feeling lonely can be all consuming, and it can make you feel like this situation is going to last forever. The thing is, it absolutely isn’t – it’s temporary and we will all get back to our connections, routines and structures soon.  

Need someone to talk to? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors in confidence here.

When the days get short and it’s all dark and chilly outside, it can be easy to feel a bit rubbish about life. Combine that with everyone being mad busy getting ready for the festive season and wrapping up their years, feeling lonely is normal. The most important thing to remember is that you are never alone in feeling lonely, and there are lots of things you can do to cheer yourself up. 

1) Do all the things that make you happy 

When you feel a bit lonely, it can be really easy to wallow in it. But putting on sad songs and sitting in your room alone is only ever going to make it worse. Instead, do all the things you love doing solo. Whether it’s art, exercise, watching movies or playing video games, doing things that bring you joy will make the time go faster and make you feel fulfilled. 

2) Hang with the family if you can 

If your family is kicking around, use this time to have a bit of quality time with them. Suggest a few day trips, a meal out, a trip to the cinema or just a night in chilling. If you don’t get on with them so well, now might be the chance to spend a little bit of fixing what’s been going with you. Sit down over a cup of tea and talk to them. We know it’s easier said than done, but it might be the best or even only chance you are going to have to do this for a while. 

3) Get a temp job

The festive season sees every shop, pub and restaurant desperate for people to help out during the busiest period of the year. Have a look in your local town and hand a few CVs around. It will be a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, get you out of the house and earn some extra dollar in time for the new year. Chances are, there will be loads of people your age that are doing the same thing, so you might just make a whole new bunch of friends through it as well.

4) Meet people in other ways 

Loads of organisations look for extra volunteers at this time of year as they host things like Christmas dinners for vulnerable people, soup kitchens for homeless people, and food banks are super oversubscribed. Try volunteering for something and meet people through that. It will get you out of the house and spreading some of that Christmas good karma. 

5) If your friends are just away for a bit, try and get a FaceTime in

It might just be that your pals have all gone their separate ways for the festive period and you feel a bit lonely and left out at home by yourself. Well get active about staying in touch with everyone over the holidays. Hit up the group chat for updates on their lives or just spam them with GIFs and memes. Set up a FaceTime with your best friend so you feel connected, or reconnect with someone who might have fallen off your radar lately. 

6) Make a plan 

Use this time to get organised about next year and make some plans. Whether it’s for your holiday next year, where you want to move to in a few years or even just ways you can work on yourself next year, this is a great time to think about the future. We know that when you feel lonely, it’s really easy to get caught up in how rubbish your present is, but thinking about what lies ahead can give you hope for pulling out of your loneliness. Plus, some of these plans will almost definitely involve getting out and hanging out with people at some point soon, and that’s definitely something positive to focus on. 

7) Remember, loneliness doesn’t last forever

Feeling lonely can be all consuming, and it can make you feel like it is going to last forever. The thing is, it absolutely doesn’t have to, you just need to be proactive. We know it can make it all feel a bit pointless, but loneliness is only ever going to end if you help it to. So get out and do some of these things, meet some new people and feel connected. 

Need someone to talk to? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors in confidence here.

So as you guys may or may not know, it’s Fear Season over here at Ditch the Label, meaning we are all about spending the spookiest month of the year facing all our fears and leaving them in the dust. 

Being alone can suck right? Who would want to be alone for ages, especially when all your pals are coupled up? Well, this is a pretty common feeling. We all have that friend (and if you don’t have that friend, you are that friend) that is ALWAYS in a relationship. Whenever they *cough* YOU *cough* feel scared of being alone, it’s pretty common to jump headlong into the next relationship with someone who will probably not end up being so great for them. Good thing you guys have us right, we’re here to get you feeling pretty damn ace about being alone. 

1) Being alone can be fun 

No, seriously. Hear us out. It might feel like being alone totally sucks and you’ll end up binge watching Netflix until you get eaten by cats, but it definitely is not like that. Being alone can actually be pretty awesome. You can make your own choices, do whatever you want when you want, and do it well. We aren’t saying that you can’t run your own life when you’re in a relationship, but there is so much freedom in being alone.

Want to go on a solo adventure in a week’s time? Book it. Feel like watching whole boxsets of The Office? Grab the laptop. Really fancy a chinese for dinner? Eat that fortune cookie baby. The point is, you can do all of this without someone getting upset you skipped forward an episode without them, or that you took a full hour to decide where you get your take away from. 

2) Get good at downtime 

One of the best things about being alone is the downtime. If everyone around you is couple up, you also get a lot of it. So get good at it. Find some awesome things to do in the evenings that help you relax and chill out after a long day. Whether that is a full pamper spa moment, besting everyone at Rocket League or something else entirely, you will get super good at taking downtime for yourself. And enjoy it – it won’t last forever.

3) Fill your life with awesome hobbies… 

Ever really wanted to do something but never had the time? Now is probably the best time for you to crack on with it! You will probably never have as much disposable income, as much free time or as little obligations again for the rest of your life. So, try out for a local sports team and meet some new people, take up art, get absolutely boss at Rocket League and try out for an ESports team, even take a few classes in things. Whatever it is that floats your boat, float the hell out of it now. 

4) …And some damn awesome people

Just like you can now fill your time with all the things you love most in the world, you can do that with people now too. It’s a universal truth that whenever we get into a relationship, we often forget to hang out with our best friends. Well, when you are riding solo you can spend a ridiculous amount of time with your ride or die crew. Do all the stuff you love doing together, even if they have other halves they can bring along. Need a giggle about being the last single one in the group? Check this out.

5) Don’t put so much pressure on yourself 

Yeah, we know that somewhere in the back of your brain there is probably a part of you that is telling you you need someone right now, even if you are telling the whole world something different. Well, try not putting so much pressure on yourself. Why not take a moment to recap everything you’ve done since being single, and all the awesome stuff you are going to do. Go out and have some fun. Just do what you need to do to remove the pressure. 

Maybe the pressure doesn’t always come from you, and your parents or friends are trying to get you back into the dating game for whatever reason. If this is the case, sit down with them and casually mention that you are not interested at the moment and are really enjoying spending time just as you. Tell them just how important it is to you to get good being alone, and hopefully they should understand.

6) Find your single crew 

So even if you do have loads of time to spend with your best buds in the universe, chances are a few of them are coupled up themselves and maybe don’t have a huge amount of time to give to you right now. That’s completely fine. But try finding a crew of people that are in the same place of their life as you are. That way, you have people to go out and do fun single stuff with when your coupled friends are at home or on holiday or whatever. Trust us, it will make you feel better, and will save some arguments with your besties in the long run. 

7) Don’t compare your chapter 10 to someone else’s chapter 20

It’s incredibly common to compare ourselves to other people, in every aspect of our lives but especially when it comes to relationships. But just because your friend from school is celebrating their anniversary doesn’t mean that you are in any way wrong or broken because you are the same age and riding solo. People’s lives move at different rates, and just because you feel behind everyone else in relationships does not mean that you are. You are exactly where you’re meant to be, so you do you. 

8) Remember, people should earn their place in your life

Don’t settle. DON’T SETTLE. This is a self love journey that you are on right now, and it’s all about getting yourself to loving yourself at 100%, with or without someone else in your life. And here’s the thing. If you only love yourself at 20%, someone could come along and love you at 25% you can be all like “wow, this person is incredible, they really want the best for me”. But if you love yourself at 100% with or without someone else, anyone who wants you will have to really go above and beyond for you. 

You deserve the world, so one more time for the people at the back. DON’T SETTLE.

9) Know that you will meet someone someday, if that’s what you want 

You might not want a relationship at all, and that’s totally fine. But if you do, know that one day, there will be someone that comes along that fits into your life and it will be amazing. They will love you at over 100%, and will probably be pretty happy to do most of the fun stuff on this list with you just to be with you. That person is out there, and you are not broken for not having found them yet. And before they do come along, you gotta have the time of your life. 

Check out our ambassador Max Hovey’s post about being the last single one in the group.