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Tips for navigating loneliness while studying or working from home

It’s completely normal to feel a bit isolated when you’re studying or working from home. Many people, both students and adults, face this challenge. But there are practical ways to manage these feelings and stay connected. In this blog, we have some helpful tips for navigating loneliness if you study or work from home.

Hybrid work and study – pros and cons

Since the pandemic, studying and working from home has become an increasingly lucrative option for many. It has increased our options for study and careers, making courses and jobs that were once inaccessible easier to reach. Not all of us can or want to commute each day, and for people with extra responsibilities at home, remote work and study is a blessing.

Unfortunately, it can come with some downsides as well. You might miss being able to communicate and collaborate with your co-workers or fellow students face-to-face and build personal connections. For university students, many feel that being on campus is a huge part of the study experience, and tuning into lectures via Zoom isn’t quite the same.

Staying at home all day can also cause us to feel disconnected and isolated. Research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has shown that people under the age of 24 are reporting higher levels of loneliness now compared to 10 years ago. In turn, loneliness can disrupt our productivity and mental and physical health.

Tips for navigating loneliness

Working or studying remotely doesn’t automatically mean you will be lonely. You might live with family or friends, or have a robust social life outside of work or study. But if you find yourself feeling isolated and need some help, that’s OK – here are some things you can try to combat loneliness when studying or working from home.

Move to a new environment

Working or studying remotely doesn’t necessarily mean you need to work or study from your house. If you want a change of pace, grab your laptop, tablet, or notebook and head down to your favourite cafe, local library, or even find a comfy spot in the park. Being around other people, even if you don’t necessarily interact with them, can help you feel less isolated. And there’s nothing stopping you from striking up a conversation or two either – even if it’s just a quick chat with the barista while you grab a coffee.

Even if you’d rather stay at home, having a designated area for your work or study sessions can make a world of difference. Having a separate space for work or study can help you make a mental disconnection between work and leisure, almost as if you’re back in the office or classroom. Make sure it’s comfortable, well-lit, and clutter-free to maximise productivity.

Stay connected with others

Just because you’re physically alone, you don’t have to be socially isolated. Regularly reach out to friends, family, or colleagues through phone calls, video chats, or messaging. Joining online communities related to your study, work, or for things you’re interested in can also provide a sense of belonging.

Take advantage of any events (both in-person and virtual) happening near you. You might meet new friends who share your interests and passions, or just find something fun to do outside of work or study.

Do things outside of work and study

Dedicating time to activities you enjoy can be a great way to stave off loneliness. Whether it’s reading, coding, painting, gaming, cooking, gardening, or playing a musical instrument, hobbies provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment – plus, they can be a great way to meet new people with similar interests.

Taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing is crucial too, especially when combating loneliness. Make sure to get regular exercise, eat balanced meals, and get enough sleep. You might even like to try engaging in relaxation techniques, like meditation or deep breathing, to ease any stress or tension.

Don’t be afraid to seek support

It’s totally OK to ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed by loneliness. The first step is to talk to someone you trust about your feelings – whether it’s a friend, family member, or professional counsellor. In any case, simply sharing your emotions can provide much-needed relief and perspective.

For students, universities often have robust student wellness teams and resources to support you during your studies. If you’re struggling at work, you could get in touch with your boss or manager and let them know how you’re feeling; they might be able to mix up your working environment or find other ways to help.

You’re never really alone

Managing loneliness when studying or working from home is a common challenge, but with the right strategies, you can overcome it. Remember that you’re definitely not the only one feeling this way, and that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to a happier, more connected work or study experience.

We also have heaps more blogs you might like to check out on wellbeing, study, and work.

Need help? Support is available

AUSTRALIA

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 000.

Urgent Help
Lifeline: Call 13 19 40 | Text 0477 13 11 14 | lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 | beyondblue.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 | suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Youth
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 | kidshelpline.com.au
headspace: headspace.org.au

First Nations
13YARN: 13 92 76 | 13yarn.org.au
Thirrili: 1800 805 801 | thirrili.com.au

Domestic Violence
1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732 | 1800respect.org.au

LGBTQIA+
QLife: 1800 184 527 | qlife.org.au

Veterans
Open Arms: 1800 011 046 | openarms.gov.au

NEW ZEALAND

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 111.

Urgent Help
Lifeline: Call 0800 543 354 | Text 4357 | lifeline.org.nz
TAUTOKO Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865
Samaritans: 0800 726 666 | samaritans.org.nz
Need to Talk?: 1737 | 1737.org.nz

Youth
Youthline: Call 0800 376 633 | Text 234 | youthline.co.nz
What’s Up: 0800 942 8787 | whatsup.co.nz

Older People
Seniorline: 0800 725 463 | seniorline.org.nz

Domestic Violence
Shine: 0508 744 633 | 2shine.org.nz

Men
He Waka Tapu: 0800 439 252 | hewakatapu.org.nz

LGBTQIA+
OutLine: 0800 688 5463 | outline.org.nz

Māori & Pasifika
Vaka Tautua: 0800 652 535 | vakatautua.co.nz
Whetu Helpline: 0800 494 388 | pw.maori.nz

CALD
Asian Family Services: 0800 862 342 | asianfamilyservices.nz

UNITED KINGDOM

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 999.

Urgent Help
Samaritans: 116 123 | samaritans.org
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 | sane.org.uk
Shout Crisis Text Line: Text SHOUT to 85258 | giveusashout.org

Welsh
Samaritans Welsh: 0808 164 0123 | samaritans.org/samaritans-cymru
C.A.L.L.: Call 0800 132 737 | Text HELP to 81066 | callhelpline.org.uk

Older People
Age UK: 0800 678 1602 | ageuk.org.uk
Age Cymru: 0300 303 44 98 | ageuk.org.uk/cymru

Domestic Violence
Juno Women’s Aid: 0808 800 0340 | junowomensaid.org.uk
Men Standing Up Helpline: 0300 3030 167 | bradfordcyrenians.org.uk/men-standing-up

LGBTQIA+
Switchboard: 0800 0119 100 | switchboard.lgbt
Galop LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline: 020 7704 2040

Immigrants & Refugees
Barnardo’s Boloh Helpline (for asylum seekers): 0800 151 2605 | helpline.barnardos.org.uk/boloh-helpline
Migrant Help UK: 0808 801 0503 | migranthelpuk.org

CALD
Muslim Youth Helpline: 0808 808 2008
EYST Wales: 0808 801 0720

IRELAND

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 999 or 112.

Urgent Help
Samaritans: 116 123
Pieta: 1800 247 247
Text About It: Text HELLO to 50808

Youth
Childline: 1800 66 66 66
Teenline: 1800 833 634

Older People
ALONE: 0818 222 024
Senior Line: 1800 804 591

Domestic Violence
Women’s Aid: 1800 341 900
Men’s Aid Ireland: 01 554 3811

LGBTQIA+
LGBT Ireland: 1890 929 539
The Switchboard: 01 872 1055

Immigrants & Refugees
Immigrant Council of Ireland: 01 674 0200

CALD
Cairde: 01 855 2111

UNITED STATES

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 911.

Urgent Help
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741 741
NAMI Hotline: 800 950 6264

Youth
The Youthline: 877 968 8491
Teen Line: 800 852 8336

First Nations
Crisis Line for Racial Equity: 503 575 3764
StrongHearts Helpline: 1 844 762 8483

Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 800 799 7233
STAND!: 888 215 5555

LGBTQIA+
The Trevor Project: 1 866 488 7386
The Trans Lifeline: 1 877 565 8860

Immigrants & Refugees
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights: 1 510 465 1984

CALD
Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 888 628 9454

CANADA

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 911.

Urgent Help
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
Talk Suicide: 1 833 456 4566
The Listening Ear Crisis Hotline: 517 337 1717

Youth
Kids Help Phone: 1 800 668 6868
Or text CONNECT to 686868

First Nations
Hope for Wellness: 1 855 242 3310
Or chat online at hopeforwellness.ca

Domestic Violence
Family Violence Info Line: 780 310 1818
Fem’aide (French): 1 877 336 2433

LGBTQIA+
LGBT National Hotline: 1 888 843 4564
The Trans Lifeline: 1 877 330 6366

Immigrants & Refugees
Refugee HealthLine: 1 866 286 4770

CALD
Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre: multiculturalmentalhealth.ca

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