Mental Health Awareness Month Interview Series – Loneliness

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Mental Health Awareness Month Interview Series – Loneliness

 

Kim Evans interviewed by Jess Kniaz

Lotus People are so proud to announce that we are donating $500 from every placement made in October to mental health awareness charity, batyr. Mental Health impacts one in four of us and this month, as well as raising funds for the charity, we will also be sharing our own personal stories and any useful resources and tips that we have found useful.

 

I moved to Sydney nearly four years ago now. I had previously travelled here the year before with one of my friends and as soon as we got here, we knew we wanted to come back one day. The lifestyle just seemed so much more relaxed than the UK and there was the excitement of living in a different country.

 

How many people did you know in Sydney when you moved here? 

When I first arrived I had one friend who lived in Melbourne but didn’t know anyone in Sydney, at that point I was so glad to have my friend with me as I would’ve felt very lost at that point, being in a big city and having no idea where to start.

 

What were your main fears before you made the move?  

Before I moved my main fears were being so far away from what was familiar, being far from friends and family and if something unfortunate were to happen at home not being there to offer support. There were also questions in my head as to whether I had made the right decision, leaving a stable job and support network in order to move to the other side of the world where I didn’t know anyone.

 

In what way did loneliness manifest itself for you? 

Feeling lonely definitely made me homesick, I found myself focussing more on what was happening on the other side of the world rather than what was happening in my own life. It was also exhausting mentally, the feeling of isolation and feeling lost was hard to deal with.

 

How did you manage your feelings of loneliness? 

I dealt with loneliness by trying to stop focussing on myself and my feelings so much and thinking about others, communicating with friends and family helped as well as paying more attention to existing relationships and things that matter.

 

What advice would you give someone experiencing loneliness in their life at present? 

My advice would be not to blame yourself for feeling this way and give yourself a break, stop being distracted by what you see on social media and take a walk outside to help lift your mood. Explore ways to expand you network and spend time with genuinely likeminded people. People often wonder why they feel lonely even though they have many people around them, however it is important to engage with those common interests, face to face interaction tends to increase our mood and strengthen relationships.