Rarely anyone escapes the feelings of loneliness at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, these feelings can get particularly strong in times of stress and around birthdays and holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day. It’s not always easy to articulate one’s feelings so many adults simply don’t talk about their loneliness and often don’t know what to do in the situation.
Loneliness is emotionally painful, but it can also cause depression and deteriorating physical health. If you’re currently experiencing loneliness, there are several strategies that can help you deal with it.
Join a Class or Club
Re-evaluate your interests and see what it is that you enjoy doing, then find out if there are any classes or clubs near you that you can join. Whether it’s a book club, an art class, a workout group, or a cooking class, becoming a part of a group brings you in direct contact with other people who share some of your interests. It also gives you a sense of belonging to a place which can diminish your sense of loneliness and boost your creativity, improve your mood and give you something to look forward to.
Volunteering for a cause you support offers similar benefits as joining a club – you get to meet other people, belong to a group, form new friendships and create new experiences. On top of all that, it brings the benefits of altruism which can help you find a clearer purpose in your life. So, it will not only minimize your loneliness, but it’ll also bring you greater life satisfaction and happiness. Moreover, working with those who are less fortunate will give you a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for what you have in your life.
Find Support Online
Especially in the post-pandemic world, loneliness has become a widespread issue, and with our lives moving into the virtual realm for a great part, lots of people are going online in search of someone to connect with. Luckily, the choice is wide – there are groups of people with similar interests on Facebook or Meetup groups; there are many apps now available, like fitness or workout apps, with a social element such as a chat or discussion board to join. Additionally, for all the prosperous men out there and ladies looking for firm support, there’s the option of sugar dating that enables its clients to start an honest relationship based on common interests.
As with all social media, you should approach them with caution – they can increase feelings of loneliness and FOMO, so make sure you start it all out with the right reasons. Be careful about what personal information you give and to whom and be very clear about what is it that you’re looking for.
Get a Pet
Pets offer enormous benefits and can successfully prevent loneliness. If you choose to rescue a pet, you’ll be combining the benefits of altruism and companionship, and this will work on so many levels – you’re doing a noble thing, you’re getting in touch with other people when you take your pet for a walk, you’re spending time in nature that is also healing, and pets are great in providing companionship and unconditional love.
Loneliness can make you forget about taking care of yourself which is dangerous as it can make you sink deeper into depression. Self-care is never a bad idea, particularly when you’re not feeling well. Make a genuine effort to eat well, get exercise, indulge in your hobbies, spend some time in the fresh air, and get enough sleep. Staying consistent with your self-care routine can help you feel better in the long run.
Practice Mindfulness and Gratitude
Mindfulness and gratitude are excellent practices because you’re intentionally focusing your mind and senses to focus on being there in the moment. This stops you from dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Practising mindfulness keeps grounded in the present moment which can help you control negative thoughts and improve your physical and mental wellness. The same goes for gratitude – as you focus on what you have on your gratitude list, you shift your focus towards positivity.
Loneliness affects millions and everyone is doing whatever they can to find ways to overcome it. The key is to know yourself and find the best strategy for you. Just bear in mind that whatever you do to cope with loneliness, you are truly not alone, and there is help and lots of ways to find your purpose and feel more connected.