Ask Angel – Feeling Lonely

“I’m surrounded by people who love me yet I still feel incredibly alone. – Lonely”

Dear Lonely,

While this problem can be painful, it’s important to know that this is not uncommon. You’re not alone in your feelings of loneliness. Especially with the pandemic, loneliness has become a global issue. In order to try and work on this, it’s crucial to locate and address the causes. 

First and foremost, if these are persistent, ongoing feelings, I would suggest you reach out to a medical professional and/or guardian. Loneliness is a common sign of depression, and in that case, counselling and/or medication may be helpful. I want to mention that while it might be scary and difficult to ask for help, try and remember that you come first. Your needs come first, so that you can be there for everyone else in your life. In order to be healthy for not only yourself, but others too, it is crucial to take those first steps to better your mental health. I believe in you!

Although, there may be other causes as well, January just started, meaning seasonal depression is on the rise. Oftentimes as the weather changes, many peoples’ moods change for the worse. Along with the isolation caused by the lockdown, loneliness is all too common. While this specific kind of depression is just as serious as any other mental health issue, there are a number of very simple ways to help cope. For example, the shorter days tend to dampen everyone’s mood, as the sun has been setting at 4:30 pm and we receive no sunlight after that time. Walks around noon to enjoy the sun before it’s gone are scientifically proven to improve mental health. In fact, exercise of any kind during these winter months will be beneficial to your physical and mental health. You can also talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements, as low levels of vitamin D have been linked to seasonal affective disorder. Studies have also found that people who took vitamin D supplements saw significant improvement in their mood. 

Journaling is also known to be therapeutic to some. You could try the method of writing down times when you feel down, in the hopes of letting your emotions out. Or you could try the method of writing down times when you felt appreciative, in the hopes of gaining more gratitude and perspective. 

If you aren’t able to figure out exactly why you feel the way you do, that’s okay. In situations like this, you did the right thing by reaching out. The best thing to do if you are unsure of what to do next is to reach out and talk to people about how you feel. It’s great that you are able to recognize that the people around you care about you, as loneliness often leads to doubting your own value. You are important, and I’m happy you know that at least. While it may be difficult at first, even just having one conversation with someone you care about regarding this problem can make a big difference.