Many of us have spent more time alone than ever this past year, so what do we do if the loneliness starts to linger?
Feeling lonely usually stems from being isolated from others, but it is possible to feel lonely even when we’re surrounded by people. Here are some simple ways to tap into your inner well of strength and feel more positive when you’re on your own.
1. Embrace it.
Reframe this period of isolation as a time to rediscover your favorite things, do some soul-searching, or expand your artistic side. Use the solitude to pursue creative interests, learn to meditate, or fix problems you’ve been avoiding. Learning to love and rely on yourself is the first step toward feeling content when you’re alone!
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2. Turn to entertainment.
Now’s a great time to attack that stack of books on your nightstand! Set a goal to watch a whole series of movies, read a specific type of novels, try some new podcasts, or simply listen to music. All of these solo activities have been proven to boost your mood.
3. Connect with distant family and friends.
Just because you can’t be together in person doesn’t mean you can’t get in touch. Sometimes a quick phone call or text exchange is all we need to remind us that we’re loved and cared for. Remember that calling a loved one might not just help you feel less lonely; it might help them, too.
4. Go for a walk outside.
A change of scenery can help you see the world through different eyes. Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise also produce feel-good endorphins that instantly make you feel happier.
5. Start an exercise regime.
Speaking of endorphins, regular exercise has countless benefits for the body and soul. Consider joining a new gym or taking a class to get some social interaction in along with your workout.
6. Talk it out.
Reach out to a friend and tell them how you’re feeling. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, try contacting a therapist to help you connect and examine your emotions on a deeper level.
7. Take a social media hiatus.
It may sound counterintuitive, but social media can make us feel even more isolated from our friends. Seeing the “highlight reel” of other people’s lives is often exhausting when you’re feeling down. There’s nothing wrong with suspending your account until you feel strong enough to interact online.
8. Get a pet.
No, they can’t talk back to you, but they do add unlimited richness to your life! Dogs and cats are easy to fall in love with, and they add humor and physical closeness to your days. Plus, if you rescue a shelter animal, you’re literally saving a life!
9. Lean into your hobbies.
There are a million hobbies out there, including ones that have clubs and fan groups where you can meet like-minded people. Think about activities that bring you joy, from gardening to starting an aquarium, and take your interest to the next level.
10. Remember it won’t last forever.
This too shall pass! As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “Change is the only constant in life.”
Things may look bleak and lonely right now, but you’ll use this time to become more resilient and accepting of life’s many phases.
Share these tips with a friend who is going through a tough time.
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