Everyone feels lonely at times, and for all sorts of different reasons. You might feel lonely because a good friend or boyfriend/girlfriend has gone away, because you've moved house and are still getting to know people, or because you've been poorly and can't get out of the house to see your friends.
You might also feel lonely or isolated if you're experiencing feelings that you don't think other people will understand, or are struggling with your emotions. If that's the case, it's a good idea talk to someone you trust about how you're feeling – our advice on getting the support you need can help with that.
We all need different amounts of social contact – some people like to be on their own a lot, others want to be around people as often as possible – but most people need a certain amount of social interaction for their mental wellbeing. If we aren't getting to see people or spend time with others in the way that we'd like to, it's easy to begin to feel lonely, and that can be difficult to deal with.
It's also easy to feel lonely or isolated when we look on social media – if you're feeling down and see other people promoting their happiness, it can seem like you're the only one feeling lonely, but that's not the case. Remember that people usually only present what they want others to see on social media.
If feelings of loneliness are taking over, there are lots of organisations out there who can provide help and support – you can find more details in our section on What's in Dorset for Me?
What you can do
There's lots you can do if you're feeling lonely. You could:
- Join a club or group where you can meet new people – this might be a sports team, music class or book club. You can find information about Dorset youth clubs, music and arts groups on the Dorset Council website and information on youth clubs in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole on the UP in BCP website
- Get support from other people via the Childline message boards
- Talk to an adult you trust - our advice on starting conversations might help with that
- Talk to a Childline counsellor for support
- Take a look at the links below for more advice and ideas.