Overcoming Social Isolation: Strategies and Support

Overcoming Social Isolation: Strategies and Support

 What is Social Isolation?

Social isolation refers to the feeling of being alone and disconnected from others. It can have a significant impact on a person's mental and physical health, and is a growing concern in today's society. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem, as many people have been forced to isolate themselves to protect their health and the health of others. 

A recent study by Statistics Canada found that nearly one in four young people aged 15 to 24 reported feeling lonely "always or often." Social isolation can take many forms, from feeling lonely in a crowded room to feeling disconnected from family and friends.

  •  Making an effort to reach out to family and friends regularly

  •  Joining clubs or groups that align with your interests

  •  Volunteering in your community

  •  Online socializing and using technology to stay connected with others

  •  Seeking professional help if needed

 It is important to remember that social isolation is not a personal failure and it is not something that can be overcome overnight. But with the right strategies and support, it is possible to improve social connections and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

 Breaking the cycle of social isolation can be challenging, but there are steps that can be taken to improve social connections and reduce feelings of loneliness. These include:

How to Break the Cycle

There are strategies and people available to help try and break out of it, at your speed, in whatever way works for you. Some things you can try include:

Trying to Talk to Someone More Regularly

Breaking out of social isolation doesn't have to be an overwhelming process. You can start small and work your way up to building a larger social circle. It can be helpful to focus on building a relationship with one person at a time, whether it's a family member, a friend, or a colleague. You can start by simply texting or having regular scheduled phone or video calls, or planning monthly hangouts. These small interactions can help you gain social skills and confidence, and over time, they can potentially grow into deeper and more meaningful relationships. Additionally, it can be helpful to seek out support groups or online communities where you can connect with people who understand and share similar experiences. Remember to be kind and patient with yourself as you work on building social connections and breaking the cycle of isolation.

Looking Into Social Hobbies

Finding shared interests with others can be a great way to start building new friendships and connections. Joining clubs or groups that align with your interests can be a great way to meet like-minded people and expand your social circle. This could be a school club, a community center, or a recreational sports team. Participating in activities that you enjoy can not only provide a sense of purpose but also open up opportunities for social interaction.

 Another great way to meet new people and expand your social circle is by volunteering or getting a part-time job. This can be a great way to get out of the house and into a new environment where you can interact with new people and potentially make new friends.

 It's important to remember that building new friendships and connections takes time and effort, so be patient with yourself and don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen right away. Keep trying new things and don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to meet new people.

Taking a Break from Social Media

Social media can have both positive and negative effects on mental health. While it can be a great way to connect with others and stay informed, it can also make people feel isolated and negatively impact self-esteem. Taking a break from social media can help alleviate these negative feelings and give you time to focus on other activities and relationships. Breaks can last as long as you want, and can be taken from specific apps or all social media. Use this time to find new hobbies or strengthen existing relationships. It can also be a good opportunity to re-evaluate what you want to get out of social media and make adjustments to your usage.

Talking to a Doctor or Mental Health Professional

If you are struggling with mental health and don't have a support system, it's important to know that there are professionals who can help. Medical doctors, counselors, therapists, and other health professionals can provide guidance and support. You can get referrals to mental health resources from your primary care physician or seek out organizations such as Planned Parenthood or Kids Help Phone that can connect you with the right help. Remember, reaching out for help is a sign of strength, and taking steps to improve your mental well-being is important.


Building and maintaining friendships requires effort and work. If you're experiencing social isolation, reaching out to others can be a great way to start breaking out of it. Let people know that you're feeling isolated and they may be more likely to check in on you and offer support. Remember, social connections with friends, family, and others are important for our mental well-being, and it's worth investing time and effort in building and maintaining them.

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