Loneliness and feelings of isolation are something of an epidemic in the modern world.
The increase in social media, working from home, and the way in which technology (such as TV streaming, home shopping and other conveniences) enable us to live without leaving the house are leading more people to feel detached and to seek, whether face to face or online, our counselling services in Newcastle.
Often, a feeling of loneliness or hopelessness can be symptomatic of a bigger problem, such as depression, and can lead to other problems including insomnia, anxiety, an increase in worry and greater home or work stress. It can also impact our day to day happiness.
Here are some ways to help deal with the winter loneliness or “Winter Blues”.
1.Is It Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Many people experience Seasonal Affecive Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during the winter months and saps your energy, leading to feeling lower in mood and more lethargic during the winter months.
Signs and symptoms of SAD include:
- Feeling depressed in winter months
- Losing interest in activities
- Having lower energy
- Having problems with sleeping
- Changes to your appetite
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
SAD also disrupts our circadian rhythm (our “body clock”), so you may find yourself sleeping more often and finding yourself in a persistent low mood.
If you notice that you experience any of these symptoms, our adult counselling service in Newcastle (and online) is an effective way to help you deal with the problems that SAD brings so you can feel happier again.
2. Remind Yourself That You Are Not Alone
Many people experience loneliness during the winter months, particularly if you live alone.
During this time, it can be more important than ever to connect with others, whether online, face to face or in groups (safety permitting, of course).
Seeing friends, family and loved ones is a great way to reduce feelings of loneliness, and recent research shows that even caring for pets can also help us feel more connected.
During this time, it can be helpful to join classes or groups that put you in contact with others – for example, as well as helping you meet new people, our mindfulness classes in Newcastle can help you feel more connected, as well as having the extra bonus of helping you manage stress effectively so you can enjoy life.
3. Engage with Hobbies and Interests
The autumn and winter months are drastically different to the rest of the year as the sun sets earlier in the day, leaving little time to enjoy sunlight once the working day is done.
In spite of this, it’s important to keep up hobbies, interests and activities that you enjoy so that you can stay engaged with and enjoy life.
This includes social, as well as personal, hobbies and activities.
Our adult counsellors in Newcastle can work with you to help you identify activities, new hobbies, and ways to enrich your life using approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and even newer approaches such as Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) to help you develop values-based activities, which enrich your life and give you structure.
Our counsellors and therapists can also help you challenge negative thinking and engage with helpful coping strategies to make sure you are fully managing during the winter months and beyond.
For Further Help
If low mood or feeling sad is a symptom of a longer-term problem or you notice it’s a heightened response to feelings of isolation you are already experiencing, it can be important to get help.
If you think that talking to a counsellor would help, Newcastle Psychologist & Counselling’s adult counselling services can help, and can see you face to face or online via Skype, Zoom, Facetime, or WhatsApp video so you can overcome your difficulty with winter loneliness effectively.
Contact us now by filling in the box below or call us on 07966 645 198 to arrange an appointment today.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Lead Clinical Psychologist