Let's be honest, we’ve all been there. You feel down and alone. Something happened in your life that you’re struggling to recover from. Or nothing has happened and you feel embarrassed to admit that you’re finding life difficult anyway.

There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re just human. Out of every five people in your class at school, one of them will have trouble with their mental health.

So if you’re in a bad place, what do you do? Most people want to be left alone. You might look to drugs, alcohol, food, or anything that brings you comfort to numb the thoughts in your head. Retreating from the world is a natural reaction, but it doesn’t solve the problem. 

So what does?

Acknowledging how you feel and giving yourself a break is important. Only then will you feel ready to talk. It may seem simple, but talking and reaching out to others can change your life. After all, talking as a way of healing has been around since the 1800s.

Luckily there’s more awareness and people to talk to than ever. The Samaritans was formed 60 years ago and has over 200 branches across the UK and Ireland, they’re there to listen and provide emotional support 24 hours a day. Mind UK campaign for better mental health and support 375,000 people with a range of services. Whilst Young Minds focus on making sure every young person has the support they need to achieve greater mental health and well being.

Once you’ve reached out and found support, volunteering is the perfect way to re-energize and reconnect with your surroundings. Engaging with issues that affect other people doesn’t just help you a gain greater perspective of your own life, it makes you feel a part of your community. One study found that volunteers had a 15% higher sense of community involvement after taking part.

The research highlighted in our one page guide on confidence and mental health shows that volunteering lowers anxiety, improves self esteem and improves life satisfaction. So if you’re feeling low, why not give volunteering a go? There’s over 20,000 opportunities to reconnect with your community on the vInspired Exchange.

We've made three mini guides to show you how volunteering improves mental health, brings together communities and leads to work.

Download the free guides