A Focus on the Forums

Each month Personal Best will publish a selection of personal reflections, concerns, questions and comments around a certain subject or theme, shared by community members on our online forums. This month we focus on building friendships and social connectedness while experiencing a mental health condition.

Summer Rose suggests joining a club

"My suggestion for making new friends is to join some clubs at your place of study. Clubs provide a natural connection and there is nothing better to bond people than to work toward a common goal. From putting on a play, reviewing books, playing sport or music, it helps to have a common interest."

Missberri on making new friends

“So, I guess I'm just wondering how do people even make new friends? I've never been good at this kind of thing. I have bad social anxiety and I'm terrible at just going up and talking to people. I just feel really silly. I don't even know what to say if I walk up to someone. I find the hardest thing is going out and meeting new people. How would I then maintain connection with people and become friends? I'm terrible at this. My new year’s resolution this year was to try and be more sociable. I really want to enjoy myself this year, so I want to improve my social life and make time for people. I don't want to feel lonely and down in the dumps.” 

Hound Dog provides some helpful tips

“Due to fear of rejection I feel extremely self-conscious in social situations. First at school, then work and social gatherings. I am not competitive, cannot deal with aggressive people or those who are incapable of treating people as equals. I have panic attacks but have learnt to deal with them so that they don’t affect my quality of life too much. I'm fortunate to have a supportive partner and moved to a better environment when I retired.”

Hound Dog looks after his mental health by:

  • Practising mindful meditation every day

  • Walking every day

  • Owns a dog (for unconditional love)

  • Spending time in nature and appreciating its beauty

  • Only drinking alcohol in small quantities

  • Drinking decaffeinated coffee

  • Eating a healthy diet and loves cooking

  • Going for regular health checks

Pinkwren on social anxiety