We all experience loneliness from time to time. Loneliness is a universal human emotion that is not exclusive to class, personality type, or age. We're all vulnerable to this unpleasant emotion because it's part of life. In this blog post, we will share 10 ways you can overcome loneliness, and by the end of this, you'll have some tools to help you get through feeling lonely.
1. Accept the feeling
It's ok to feel lonely, and there's a reason why you feel this way. All emotions have meaning, and loneliness is a need to feel connected with others. It's a sign that you're a social being, and you are yearning for intimacy and deep interpersonal connections. No human being is an island. We directly or indirectly depend on one another to survive and thrive. We rely on others for different reasons to function and flourish as individuals, families, communities, and societies as a whole. So whenever you feel lonely, remember it's just a signal to connect with others. To accept the feeling and feel it without judgment.
2. Healthy coping strategies
Find healthy coping strategies to deal with feelings of loneliness. Swap alcohol for water, herbal teas, and plant-based smoothies. Have a good sleeping schedule and make sure you don't under or oversleep. Getting enough sleep is good for you; however, oversleeping can be a problem if you do it to avoid issues. It's tempting to eat junk food when you're feeling down. Replace junk food with wholesome foods such as fatty fish, berries, nuts, and seeds. These foods produce serotonin which can boost your mood, and they are suitable for your health in the long run. The moral of the story is to substitute vices with things that are good for you. Most importantly, be kind to yourself.
3. Strengthen your relationships
Work on strengthening the relationships that you have. Having good, supportive and loving people around you can really boost your mood. You can be surrounded by a lot of people and still feel lonely. It's vital to have emotionally satisfying relationships. Relationships that are centered around reciprocity, shared values, shared interests, and attitudes. If possible, try to spend quality time with loved ones face-to-face. Schedule time to spend with friends or invite your family over for a Sunday brunch.
4. Me Time
"The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself."― Diane Von Furstenberg. Spend quality time with yourself and be intentional about it. Find a way to schedule time and do something nice for yourself, even if it's only for 20 minutes. Relax, do something refreshing or mentally stimulating. Watch a comedy movie, read an interesting article or take yourself out on a date. The more you're in tune with yourself, the easier it can be to connect with others.
If you'd like to take it a step further, you could focus your time on improving yourself. Learn about the things that you're interested in and be curious about the world.
5. Find something to do
What activities do you enjoy the most? Whatever your interests are, find something to do that is aligned with that. There are a lot of classes and communities you can join. This could be a good opportunity for you to make friends or meet people that have similar interests. Meeting people through doing what you like is a great way to build meaningful friendships that can go beyond superficial conversations. Meetup is a great way to connect with people who share similar hobbies and interests.
6. Start a passion project
If meeting up with people is not interesting for you, how about working on a passion project you've been putting off? Starting a passion project will add creativity to your daily life. You'll be working on something that you like, and it could be fun. A passion project will give you a reason to press forward in life, especially when life feels challenging. Finding something to do redirects your focus from you to a hobby or a passion project.
7. Become less guarded
Keeping your guard up creates an emotional barrier and distance between you and others. It limits conversations to superficial things like the weather, and it keeps you in the loop of thinking about conversation fillers to avoid "the awkward silence." Emotionally fulfilling relationships require trust, intimacy, and vulnerability. Being open with others gives them a chance to get to know you on a deeper level. It encourages others to share their experiences and feelings too. It can foster a deeper connection. Remember, there's a difference between boundaries and emotional walls. Emotional walls shut people out, and boundaries are a personal guideline for yourself and others to have healthy relationships and friendships.
8. Practice giving
Shift the focus on you by volunteering your time, skills, energy, or resources. Helping others could help you feel connected. Offer to walk your friend's dog, volunteer at an elderly home, donate to a charity that resonates with you, mentor young people and even help a family member that seems to be struggling. Think about how you can show up and support the people around you.
9. Spend money on experiences
"Fill your life with lots of experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show". Marc and Angel. Spending money on shared experiences has psychological benefits. It makes you feel happier, and it influences your outlook on life. Engaging in activities with friends, family, or colleagues will enhance your relationships and create long-lasting memories. Shared experiences can look like a movie night, sports events, museums, Wine tasting, a spa day, burlesque class, vacations, gym class, events, hiking, class, and so on.
I know everyone in the wellness community talks about meditation, and you're probably tired of hearing about this practice. But meditation can improve your mental and emotional health. It reduces stress, improves your mood, and regulates anxiety. There are a lot of meditation videos on YouTube and great apps that you can use. Doing meditation for at least 5 minutes a day will improve your mood.