Five ways to tackle loneliness when you're social distancing

1. Pick up the phone

Phone calls are amazing, and are a great way to stay connected. But seeing someone’s face really can make a huge difference on a phone call. It can lift your mood and make you feel less lonely. Think about who you can keep in contact with and how you can use apps to talk to someone face to face. It’s important that you talk to people you trust during this time and continue to stay connected. They might be in the same situation and can help you navigate anything you are going through.

2. Find your online tribe

There are lots of positive online communities, where you can make new friends, get inspired and chat about things you care about. You could try searching for groups involved in causes, music or TV shows you are passionate about. But remember to avoid anything that encourages you to do things which are harmful for your physical or mental health. If you're worried by things you're experiencing online, talk to someone you trust.

3. Don't get 'board'

Board games can be a great way to spend time with friends or family while giving you something to focus on. You can play a lot of these games online, like Monopoly or Chess.

4. Breathe!

There are lots of great free apps you can use to guide you through breathing techniques and meditation that can help ease your anxiety and clear your mind of anxious thoughts. We like to use Headspace.

5. Create a new routine

It’s likely that your normal routine will be disrupted, which you could find stressful. Take some time to work out how you want to spend your day. Creating and sticking to a new routine will help maintain a sense of normality. Remember to include things that you enjoy, like time reading or doing an online exercise class.

By Deirdre Kehoe, Director of Training and Services at YoungMinds.

For more advice on looking after your mental health during this time, visit YoungMinds or Mind

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