Autumn often brings changes and it can be hard to adapt to these. Holiday friends may no longer be close and the good times you shared are just a memory. If you, or anyone you’re close to is involved in education, the new academic year moves everyone onwards. Sometimes this can mean long distances separate you from the people you’re comfortable with. It can be hard to settle to a different way of living, without your peer group.
We look at the following topics:
- Using social media in moderation
- Avoiding putting your old group on a pedestal
USE SOCIAL MEDIA IN MODERATION
Social media gives you plenty of opportunity to stay in touch with your friends. You can text and snapchat endlessly, talk over Facetime and see everything that’s happening on Facebook. All of that is brilliant and you may wonder how anyone ever coped without their smartphones. But that isn’t all good news.
Staying close to a group of friends you’ve left behind can make you sad, especially if you’re the only one who’s moved away. Seeing them having fun together can make you feel more left out. As time goes by this can get worse. Things move on in your old group, relationships develop and change and even though you’re still in contact you feel alone.
Try not to depend on social media and staying closely in touch. This can be great at first, but if you rely on it too much as time goes by you will have less enthusiasm for your new environment. So ration your social media time and be strong. You need to get out into the world around you and make new contacts if you’re to be happy.
TRY NOT TO MOPE
Some time spent reliving happy times with old friends is natural, but keep this in proportion. Yes, the times you had were wonderful, but the whole essence of life is moving on. Those memories are a treasure that no-one can take away from you, but they should enrich you, not drag you down.
When you start to feel sorry for yourself, make yourself do something constructive. Achieving something will encourage you to be more hopeful and optimistic.
Explore any interests you have for these are likely to lead you to people who have lots in common with you. Once you get talking and sharing you’ll feel much better.
DON’T PUT YOUR OLD GROUP ON A PEDESTAL
Your familiar friends may have been very special, but they aren’t unique. If you are young it may be particularly hard to believe that anyone can compare with your old crowd, but this is because your experience may be limited. Other people can come into your life and be just as valued, just as much fun and support.
The great thing about your group is that you knew them, and they knew you. Now you are far away the past may seem idyllic. Never will you feel so secure and accepted again – or will you? It’s easy to forget the things about your friends that were not so perfect, because the sense of belonging was so lovely. But you will certainly ‘belong’ somewhere else in time.
Try to believe that there could be other groups of people who may accept you even more completely, who may bring out sides to you that you never knew you had, with whom you may have a deeper compatibility that does not rest upon familiarity. Your old bunch may be amazing and you will always love them, but they aren’t the whole world.
LOSS IS A FEELING THAT DOESN’T LAST
When all is said and done, your feelings of loss and loneliness are natural and unavoidable. If you have separated from your peer group this is like a bereavement and it may help you to see it that way.
It may be hard to believe that life has changed. You may feel angry, at times, that you’ve had to move on, and it’s natural to feel quite sorrowful. Treat yourself with gentleness, almost as if you’re coping with an illness. Make sure you have early nights, plenty of creature comforts, good food and warmth. Accept that this is a difficult time, but tell yourself that it won’t last.
Whatever happens, sooner or later, you will feel part of a happy and supportive group again. Loneliness will be a thing of the past and you’ll forget that you ever felt downhearted.
HOW WE CAN HELP
In the above we’ve looked at several helpful topics for you if you’ve lost your peer group. These include not over-using social media, trying not to mope, not putting your old group on a pedestal and the fact that loss does not last. All of these can help you if you’re feeling lonely, but if they aren’t enough, don’t despair. Our team of Readers has plenty of helpful advice and reassurance for you, so call us today and cheer yourself up.
PUBLISHED: 22 September 2017