How to cope with loneliness

Last reviewed on 5 October 2020

Two in five adults in the UK feel lonely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, according to research by the British Red Cross. Limited social contact has increased feelings of loneliness and many people worry this could get worse in the future.

The UK Government is helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak through its #LetsTalkLoneliness initiative. It includes tips such as:

  • Keep in touch with friends, family and neighbours
  • Ask for help if you need shopping, medicine or are feeling lonely
  • Set a routine with online activities, regular tasks or volunteering

As Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age and Chair of the Campaign to End Loneliness, says, “Even before COVID-19, millions of people in the UK were experiencing loneliness. The lockdown, while necessary, has exacerbated this problem, particularly for older people, who are more likely to live alone, and less likely to be internet users.”

There are lots of charities and other organisations available to help if you feel lonely. This blog by the Campaign to End Loneliness provides useful guidance for older people on what to do if you’re feeling lonely during self-isolation.

Useful websites and helplines:

Age UK (0800 169 6565)

British Red Cross (0808 196 3651)

Campaign to End Loneliness

Every Mind Matters

Independent Age (0800 319 6789)

NHS (coronavirus guidance)

Samaritans (116 123)

Shout (text 85258)

The Mix (0808 808 4994)

The Silver Line (0800 4 70 80 90)

UK Government (coronavirus guidance)


Read our advice for children and young people, parents and carers and older people