I know quarantine and stay home orders have most of us sitting in the house. It’s one thing to like spending time to yourself, but it's a whole other story feeling alone. I’ve had times when I’ve felt isolated but throw in this whole social distancing thing and you have a recipe for being in complete isolation.
You try to put on a happy face, but inside, you’re a million miles away. Or maybe you’ve moved to a new place or lost someone close to you recently. Whatever it is, there are ways to stop feeling so alone.
Loneliness happens to all of us, but it doesn’t have to define us. All it takes is first recognizing how you feel and then doing something about it.
You’re Not Alone
I know feeling alone might make you feel like something’s wrong with you, but actually, around 40% of people feel regular or long-term loneliness at some point. Even those with generally active social lives and a loving spouse feel this way.
I want you to know that loneliness can happen to anyone. From the 80 year-old woman who lives alone to the 25 year-old with an amazing job and a dozen close friends, you might feel alone. I read an article on Psychology Today about two men and their different situations. It’s worth taking a look, but the point is that a wide variety of issues contribute to why you might feel alone. The guy with a few friends, but who’s happier with his life rarely feels lonely, while his socially active friend feels alone (I know we can't exactly be socially active physically but you can still do virtual meetups and video calls).
No matter what's causing you to feel so alone. You can overcome it.
Get Out Of A Toxic Situation
If you’re in a toxic situation, like a bad job or friends/family who treat you badly, now is the perfect time to get out of it. The more you’re beaten down by your situation and those you care about, the more alone you’ll feel. Take advantage of your time in the house right now and cut those toxic strings. I think we’ve all had a few toxic people and situations. Eliminating them from your life will give you more energy, make you feel happier and set you on a path to feeling amazing.
Do Something Artistic
Okay, so I’m not saying be the next Picasso, but do something creative. Trigger a different part of your brain and let the feelings of loneliness slip away. I like to journal and color. You can do that or have a personal selfie photo shoot or try what ever you want. Look around the house and see what you have that you can be really creative with. Just do something that engages you and that you enjoy.
Take Yourself Out
I know the most you can do right now is sit on the front porch or go for a neighborhood walk. I also realize this might make some people feel more lonely, but the idea is to get more comfortable with yourself. Plus what better timing than now since most of us are staying to ourselves anyway. If you’re feeling lonely because you feel you have to have others in your life to make you happy, it’s time to learn to be happy alone. You don’t have to be around others 24/7. Spending time by yourself is good for you. You just have to learn to enjoy it. So, take yourself out for a walk, have a solo date night once this blows over. Take along a book to read while you enjoy your favorite meal.
The simple act of helping others makes you feel better. It’s also a great way to meet other people. If you want more social interactions in your life, join a volunteer organization. You can devote as little or as much time as you want. This is a great option if you’re feeling lonely because you can get out and get to meet new people; however, don't let these stay at home orders keep you from volunteering. Think outside the box and offer virtual services or if you can safely do it, pick essentials for a neighbor who may not be able to go grab them themselves.
At first, I thought this was just crazy. I’m just supposed to think away my loneliness? Yet, it works. It takes practice, but whenever you start feeling alone, think about positive things in your life. Before you say there aren’t any, yes, there are. Get a journal and write down the best parts of your life, happy memories, things you’re grateful for and things you’re looking forward to. Just changing your attitude makes a major difference.
Attend A Class
I love trying new things, which is why I also like trying local classes. Not just physical but virtual classes are popping up as well. From fitness to cooking and everything in between, there’s a class you’ll love. Sometimes, you feel alone because you don’t have anyone to share your interests with. Take a class related to what you love and you’ll find people just like you.
Schedule Time With Others
I could come up with a million reasons not to hang out with my friends; Exhibit A, Covid-19. I’m busy, I’m tired, I’m moody, etc. Yet, I make sure I have a regular night out with my friends at least once a month. If I’m feeling alone at other times, I call someone. You don’t need a ton of friends. Just one trusted friend at the very least. Have a virtual happy hour! Get creative.
Adopt A Pet
This one might seem just a little drastic. If you hate pets, obviously this one isn’t for you, but adopting a cat or dog is a great way to stop feeling so alone. You know there’s always someone waiting at home for you who depends on you. Plus, they can be hilarious and comforting.
The most important thing to remember is to just take care of yourself. We all feel alone sometimes, but take a proactive approach and shut out loneliness.
Signed – The Unbothered Goddess, a woman who’s been where you are