5 Ways to Feel Less Isolated When Your Mental Illness Takes Hold

It is easy to become isolated when anxiety or depression hit you.

Often you feel less confident and less social. A lot of the time it can seem impossible to get out of bed or leave the house – let alone meet up with friends or family.

That’s why I’ve put together this short list of tips to feel less isolated when you can’t face even having to hold a conversation with someone else.*

*Disclaimer: Obviously social interaction is so important in life and I am in no way suggesting that the following list should replace this. Just that when times are especially tough these suggestions can ease your isolation…

1: YouTube

One of the main platforms which helped me through many tough times was YouTube.

YouTubers have an incredible way of connecting to their audience and creating a sense that you are involved and invested in their content.

Certain channels can allow you to feel a connection to them and the outside world without putting pressure on yourself to put on a fake smile and meet up with people when you can’t face it.

My personal favourite YouTubers include Spencer FC and Joe Weller (who has spoken about his depression on his channel) who I share similar interests with (predominantly football).

I find their content entertaining and I find the way they have worked to make a success of their channels really inspiring.

Most importantly, watching their content is a form of escapism, I suppose, from my own struggles when times are tough with my mental health.

2: Comedy

Something else which really helps me when I’m feeling low is just trying to switch off my mind and distract myself listening to a funny podcast.

For me, this is normally Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. You can listen to the absolutely hilarious nonsense they talk about here.

When I listen to these clips and podcasts I can’t stop laughing along to the conversations they have. In a weird way, because the conversations are so random and natural you feel a part of them.

Laughter really is the best medicine and it allows you, for a split-second, to forget how your condition is affecting you.

Even though it isn’t a cure to how you’re feeling, managing to shut off your brain even briefly is so important.

3: Blogging

This is a fairly new one for me but becoming involved in the blogging community is amazing if you’re finding things tough with your mental health.

I didn’t have this when I went through my worst periods of anxiety and depression but it is great to be part of it now to help maintain my good mental health.

Having non-judgemental people who understand exactly what you’re going through and making sure that you are not alone is so valuable.

It is also a great way to get your emotions out and it ensures that you don’t keep things bottled up.

I really enjoy reading other people’s blogs for tips, advice and to feel that sense that other people have been through the same things I have.

Here are some of my favourite mental health bloggers on WordPress that you should definitely check out*:

Disclaimer: There are so many great mental health blogs out there so please forgive me if I haven’t mentioned you! Feel free to link me your blog in the comments for me to have a look.

4: Social Media

Similar to blogging, being part of a mental health community on social media platforms is great for connecting with similar people.

Twitter is especially good for this. If you haven’t already, get involved with the following #s and come and join in*:

*Disclaimer: Again, if I’ve missed any great Twitter chats then tell me in the comments so I can join in too!

5: Elefriends

Elefriends is an online community created by Mind in order to provide a safe place for people to talk about their mental illnesses and support each other.

I wasn’t aware of this community until after I experienced my toughest times but it is such a great idea!

If you’re feeling isolated then you know you have a friendly online community to turn to at the click of a button.

Let me know in the comments how you deal with feeling isolated because of your mental health!

15 thoughts on “5 Ways to Feel Less Isolated When Your Mental Illness Takes Hold

  1. Youtube really helped me as well when I was going through a bad patch. To other people it probably seemed stupid and they would always comment on how I spent too much time watching youtubers. But, like you said, it really did help me feel connected to somebody without actually having to leave my bed and face the world, which at the time just felt too much. I really enjoyed reading this post and will definitely be using a few of these tips, as feeling lonely & isolated is something I often struggle with when I’m down. I’ve also never heard of ‘Elefriends’, so I’ll have to check that out! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this – some great suggestions for people there. Social Media has become my lifeline when I am really struggling – even when I want badly to open up to a specific friend but just can’t bring myself to do face/face, leave the house time, I can message them and still get support. Its a great tool for mental health when used right!

    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Britt. The mental health community I’ve come across on Twitter are great for support 🙂 It helps that you know they’ll just understand whatever you’re going through because they’ve been there too x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant post Rob! So much hope & personal agency in your writing. Blogging is incredible for my mental health & sense of connection with like minded people. Spending time in nature is also a feast for my soul. A different type of connection. The ultimate one truly. Keep on writing! Your blog lifts me up. 🙌🙌

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great and much needed I’ve dealt with bipolar and depression for 20 yrs and for me isolation is the first step of a depression crisis. Things that have worked for me, music, one friend I can count on who understands what I go thro, yoga and meditation also helps. Sitting in the sun and soaking up vitamin D even I’m alone sitting in my backyard. Here is my latest blog I write about mental illness, parenting adult children and my day to day life. My Sister’s Keeper  – rhasha’s random rantings

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing post! I know that when I am at a low point and am unable interact with people that connecting with people using social media helps a lot. I personally really like the app called Vent. It is a text post based social media where you can categorize posts by emotions. It helps a lot to connect with people going through similar things. Would you be okay if I mentioned your post on my own blog?

    Liked by 1 person

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