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Is it we feel lonely, or is it we feel we have no purpose?


 Is it we feel lonely, or is it we feel we have no purpose? Why feeling useful matters for wellbeing

We shared an earlier piece on the Warwick and Edinburgh Mental wellbeing Scales a useful way to think about and self-measure our wellbeing. We aim to offer wee tips for each of the 14 points on the scale. We started with If being more optimistic was something you felt you wanted to work on. This next section is on feeling useful.

Remember, these tips are for self-management, wellbeing promotion. If you need to speak to someone please do, there are many services available. Our ''whit's happening'' magazines on the site list some of these services. If you ever feel so despairing you have thoughts of suicide, please speak to someone. The Samaritans are there 24/7 365 Freephone 116 123.

Sometimes we feel lonely, even when we are in a crowd and wonder 'but I am with people, why do I still feel empty?'

We are going to cover this in more detail in future issues, however, sometimes the feeling we have of not belonging is because we are not sure what our purpose is in the group, setting, wherever we are. 

This can be made worse perhaps if we are unwell and need others help. We can end up wondering, what our purpose is. We all need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and when we don't feel like it, this is when we need a reason most. Even if our health challenge means for a time, our body can't get out of bed! It's finding a way our minds can still be engaged in something beyond our illness, as this can also help distract us from what is maybe causing us suffering.

The COVID19 pandemic has caused such upheaval and confusion in everyone's lives. Everyone's experience may be unique but very few people aren't affected. The restrictions and lockdowns may remove opportunities we had to be useful e.g., volunteering, and not being able to do this can leave us feeling stressed, unsettled, out of sorts. We are all different, and experience change differently. But if wanting to feel useful is something which matters to you, these wee tips may be helpful. There is also a wee editable postcard which you may want to complete making a promise to yourself of something you want to change.

A danger when something we were used to doing is taken away is that we fill that with something else which may not be helpful for us e.g., overeating, maybe consuming more alcohol, gambling, maybe we find we are even short-tempered with others who are maybe trying to help as we feel out of sort. This can also cause us issues as we alienate people who were trying to help.

There is so much written around how when we are kind to others, this, in turn, make us feel happier; and when we maybe aren't able to do the things we usually do, finding ways still to be kind to others can make us feel better. It's important to note feeling useful is totally different from being used. When we feel used, we can feel a host of negative emotions including resentment, when we feel useful, we have a range of positive emotions which can include joy

If feeling more useful is something which matters to you, we hope the wee tips sheets offer some inspiration.

'' I would love to be able to offer something to take away all pain and suffering, sadly this sometimes isn't possible. What I hope, is the wee simple tips I put together for COPE Scotland help turn the suffering down from a 10 to an 8, not saying things are not still sore, as sometimes life is sore, just that it may hurt a little less'' Hilda Campbell

Remember you do matter, and people do care, I care

Relaxation and what we can learn from frogs!
Viewing the world through a lens of optimism!

Useful/Emergency Contacts

  • Silverline 0800 4 70 80 90
  • Childeline 0800 1111
  • ParentLine 08000 28 22 33
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  • Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87
  • NHS 111
  • Gamblers anonymous 0370 050 8881
  • Narcotics anonymous 0300 999 1212
  • Alcoholics anonymous 0800 9177 6506
  • CALM 0800 58 58 58
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