Everyone gets lonely sometimes. At some points in your life, you may feel isolated, sad, or abandoned. This is a normal part of the human experience, a component of our emotional spectrum. Some people even enjoy spending their time alone! However, if you experience a deep sense of loneliness, it is important to address it in a healthy way.
Loneliness stems from a lack of connection, but you can also experience it while being around other people.
Do not leave this condition unchecked, as it may affect your physical and emotional well-being. According to some research, loneliness is just as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes daily! Fortunately, there are plenty of effective tips and tricks to help you cope with it.
Top 10 Things to Try When You Feel Lonely
Here are some things you could do to feel better. Check this link for some natural remedies, too. Feeling lonely for long periods of time is dangerous, as it can lead to depression. Try these tips:
1. Acknowledge You Feel Lonely
Feeling lonely does not make you a loser or a weak person. Don’t waste energy fighting your emotions. Loneliness is just a part of being human. Label your feelings and they will become less intense. This will help your brain make sense of your condition and boost your mood a bit.
2. Create a Plan
If you think that loneliness is a problem, there are two possible solutions. First, you could connect with someone. Secondly, you could take care of your emotions and change how you feel about the situation.
For example, if you feel lonely on a Friday night, and you have friends you could call, reaching out to them could be the best way to solve the problem. Even talking on the phone could help.
However, if you try to reach out and everyone is busy, this will only make you feel worse.
In this case, you have no other option but to work on your own perception of the situation. Address how you feel and try a healthy coping strategy. Creative solitary activities could help. For example, you could try drawing, gardening, or knitting.
3. Connect With Someone From Your Past
Making new friends is increasingly difficult as we grow older, but you could reconnect to your old ones. Try getting in touch with your college roommate, a former classmate, or a relative you do not see very often. Communicating with people you already know is easier, as you already have something in common. You can reminisce about the old times together and even establish a strong relationship.
Face-to-face interaction is the most effective way to alleviate loneliness. Therefore, while you could make the first move over social media or text, try to arrange a video chat, a phone call, or an in-person meeting.
4. Join a Group or Club
Try connecting with new people in your community. Join a book club, hiking group, a gardening community, or a business group, depending on what inspires you. You can find them in your local newspaper. Websites like Meetup are also helpful. Attend different events and make it a priority to converse with several people. Join a couple of clubs to make more acquaintances.
5. Read a Book
Reading can expand your world and take your mind off loneliness. Try to understand how characters or narrators think. Get inside their head. Whether you download a self-help book to your Kindle or listen to a detective audiobook, you will feel more connected. You could also try something you wouldn’t normally reach out for!
6. Find an Online Forum
The internet lets you connect to users from all over the world in just a few clicks. You can find like-minded people who experience the same problems, have similar interests or goals. Find forums where members discuss topics that excite you. Discuss things you are passionate about. This is guaranteed to work, even if the other members are complete strangers.
7. Learn Something New
Think about what you would like to learn. Whether it is a skill like cooking, a new language, or a musical instrument, it will make you feel better and open up doors. Sign up for a class offline or check out online courses. Platforms like Udemy and Coursera are packed with courses in subjects ranging from graphic design to finance.
8. Find a Hobby
Creative hobbies will help you focus on the present moment. Do something engaging to stave off negative thoughts about being “alone forever”. Instead of dwelling on the past, experiment with different activities, from drawing to pottery to DIY repairs. Discover things you love and focus on them.
9. Perform an Act of Kindness
Helping others can make you feel more connected to the community. Do a kind deed for your neighbor or coworker, get involved in a fundraiser, contact a local charity, help a nursing home or animal shelter, etc. Reach out to hospitals and other organizations to offer your assistance and research volunteering opportunities.
10. Get Professional Help
Finally, if nothing else works, you may need to seek assistance from a mental health professional. They will help you discover new coping strategies and form more meaningful connections to cope with loneliness healthily.
This is particularly important if you have tried to deal with loneliness in the wrong way before. Excessive drinking, overeating, and other unhealthy activities can make you feel better, but they are counterproductive in the long term. Your loneliness will only intensify.
The global pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone. Lockdowns, working from home, and decreased face-to-face time make loneliness more acute. Devote time to self-care to prevent this condition from becoming chronic.
Feeling lonely from time to time is absolutely natural, and there are a plethora of ways to overcome this state of mind. Explore different coping methods and reach out to professional assistance if necessary. Whatever your situation, know that you are not alone, even if it feels that way.