Feelings of Loneliness
Feelings of Loneliness
Many people feel lonely right now. You may be separated from family and friends, separated from your colleagues, students and parents, spending time in self-isolation, or worried about spreading the virus to others. During pandemics, many education workers may also experience stigma from others who think they’ll get sick if they spend time with frontline workers like teachers and educational support staff when schools are operating at full attendance. Any of these situations can take a real toll on your mental health.
Changes in how things are done — both changes at work and changes in your daily life — are constant reminders that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and life isn’t the same. These changes can amplify difficult feelings like loneliness, uncertainty, fear, despair, and hopelessness. This is a normal part of any traumatic or challenging situation and you aren’t alone.
Loneliness can be particularly hard right now because we have to take public health measures into consideration. It isn’t just a matter of meeting up with a friend or joining a group to meet new people. While loneliness can be very uncomfortable, it’s a feeling. Simple skills and strategies to boost resilience can help lower the volume of feelings like loneliness and help you find well-being despite separation from people you care about.
One of the most important things you can do is reach out when you need it. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help, but finding the right support can help you feel better. Here are some services and support to try:
- Care to Speak: Our specialists have years of training and experience working in both education and mental health and are ready to listen to your needs and help support your mental health and wellness. To learn more about your dedicated educational mental health support team, take a look at their bios and what motivates them to support the mental health of Manitoba’s educational front-line staff. Your Wellness Support Specialists can be reached by phone at 1-877-602-1660 or by email at email@example.com
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP): If your workplace offers a Family/Employee Assistance Program, contact your workplace F/EAP provider to see what mental health and well-being resources are available and how they can help you.
- Province of Manitoba – Free Virtual Therapy
Every Manitoba resident age 16 or older have access to up to two free counselling sessions with a trained professional at Morneau Shepell. To book your first session, call toll free 1-844-218-2955. Counselling sessions can be by video or telephone, as preferred. Sessions are offered in multiple languages.
- Mental Health Crisis/Non-Crisis Support Information
The Province of Manitoba Mental Health and Seniors Care website has a comprehensive list of both crisis and non-crisis mental health contacts. Visit https://gov.mb.ca/health/mh/crisis.html
Take Care of Your Health and Well-being
Your physical health and mental health are connected. When you fall behind on healthy eating, sleep, and exercise, you might notice that negative thoughts come up more often. It may be harder to manage stress and harder to find hope and optimism. Taking care of yourself as well as you can make a big difference.
Take Time to Breathe
Find space to be still. Take a few minutes every day to disconnect and breathe. You can find simple deep breathing exercises from eMental Health.
Focus on One Thing You Can do Right Now to Feel Better
Many people doubt their own strength and resilience in the middle of an emergency. When you feel overwhelmed, think of one thing you can realistically do right now (or by the end of the day) to help yourself feel better. For example, you could message a friend, go for a walk, call a support line, spend time on a hobby, or write a meal plan for the upcoming work week.
Reach Out and Give Back
Helping others can strengthen connections and improve your own mental health. Check in with friends, family members, and co-workers. Ask them how they’re doing and see if there is anything you can do to help. If a friend, family member, or co-worker is in self-isolation, have a meal or small gift delivered to their home. Simple acts can make a huge difference and remind others that you care about them.
Looking For More?
Free resources to help with your anxiety available from your phone