How to Combat Loneliness
Whether you’re in self-isolation during a pandemic, stuck indoors for a long winter or have a small circle of friends, life can get quite lonely. First and foremost, know that you’re not the only one who is feeling this way. Many of us get lonely from time to time. Some deal with it daily. Take advice from people who have been there before—loneliness doesn’t have to be permanent. Here is how to combat loneliness in any situation.
Do More Of What You Love
Loneliness is a feeling. At times, that feeling can be quite overwhelming. Luckily, there are ways to make less room for loneliness and more room for things that bring you joy.
While social interaction with family, friends, and even co-workers can be a fulfilling part of our lives, our happiness doesn’t have to be entirely dependent on others. You can find it within yourself by finding your passions in life and following them. When you immerse yourself in activities that fulfill you, it leaves less room inside for loneliness.
Reach Out To Loved Ones
Friends and family will stick by you through thick and thin. Their love for you can help ease any loneliness you are feeling. If you get lonely, reach out to your support system. That’s what they’re there for.
We have become so used to texting that many of us have lost touch with our genuine connection to others. Go old school and give your parents a call or join the digital age and FaceTime your friends. Hear their voices and see their faces. This type of personal connection offers far more emotional fulfillment and support than a mere text.
Speak to a Therapist
Experts say that 3 out of 4 Americans are lonely. Sometimes we just need to get these feelings off our chest. In some cases, we don’t feel comfortable talking to our loved ones about the reasons for our loneliness. They might even be part of the issue. If this is the case, an alternative option could be to speak to a therapist.
Loneliness can become a gateway to the development of mental health issues. It’s normal to feel lonely, but prolonged emotional distress can lead to long-term problems. With therapy, you can talk to a professional with an unbiased opinion about your situation.
For many of us, going to a therapist is difficult. You might find comfort in setting up a virtual chat with a mental health professional instead of going to an office. One of the most popular online services is Talkspace. This service can be essential if you’re practicing self-isolation during a pandemic. Talkspace even has a Anxiety Management Program.
If you prefer a more anonymous approach, you can always call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline.
Look Into Volunteering
Even during this pandemic, there are a number of low-contact volunteer opportunities for those looking to make a difference.
An excellent way to ease the pain of loneliness is by extending a helping hand to others. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. You’re doing good for someone in need. Knowing that you’re making a difference gives you a sense of purpose and can make you feel less alone.
Volunteering connects you with people from all walks of life. In many ways, it helps you to get to know people you might never have met otherwise. Volunteering is a humbling and enriching experience and a great way to combat loneliness.
Keep A Gratitude Journal
Loneliness is sometimes the result of dwelling on the things you’re missing out on. You may feel lonely because you’re not hanging out with your friends, a loved one or your family. It’s easy to only think about the things that are lacking in your life, but these are just slivers in the pie chart that is your life.
There are many reasons to be grateful. You might be in self-isolation, but you’re lucky enough to have your health and a roof over your head. Yes, being away from your family and friends is hard, but think of how grateful you are to have people in your life who you care so much about. The practice of actively focusing on gratitude offers a greater sense of well-being that we can carry with us throughout our day.
The best way to count your blessings is with a gratitude journal. Keep it next to your bed. When you wake up, write down one thing you’re grateful for every day. With more gratitude in your heart, there’s less space for loneliness.
Work On Positive Self-Talk
You know loneliness is prevailing when negative thoughts start creeping in. Those who are prone to anxiety can easily get into a negative spiral when feeling isolated. While these feelings can be overwhelming, you may be able to redirect your thoughts with positive self-talk.
Become aware of your negative reactions. If you make a simple mistake, don’t call yourself stupid. Try to laugh it off instead. When you get nervous before a presentation, stop thinking, “I can’t do this.” Tell yourself you’re going to slay. Changing the conversation that you’re having with yourself can do wonders in changing your perspective.
How are you combating loneliness? Share your tips with us in the comments below!