10 Ways to Cope with Loneliness
The pandemic has affected us all. One aspect has been that many of us have been alone and feeling lonely this past year. The world is opening up in some ways, but not all, and we may still be a bit hesitant to open ourselves up to it. Here are some ways to take small steps to join the world again and overcome loneliness.
- Get outside in nature for a walk, swim, hike, or bike ride. Physical activity in a new setting can refresh your spirits. Also, sunlight provides vitamin D and boosts your serotonin, which helps regulates memory, sleep, and mood.
- Express your thoughts and feelings by writing in a journal. Sometimes this can help you understand your situation and put an action plan in place to cope.
- Find ways to be grateful. Practicing gratitude and appreciation can help us take the focus off being lonely and help us discover the positive things in our life, rather than just the negative.
- Create new rituals. Our everyday is made up of small rituals such as morning coffee on the patio, evening walks, or reading time with young children in our lives. Adding new rituals can help you find comfort and solace in your world.
- Make a difference with volunteering. Many organizations in your area may need help any time of year, not just over the holidays. This can be a generous way to give back while also helping you focus on others rather than being lonely.
- Connect with others. Call family or friends to get together. Surrounding yourself with positive influencers can help you feel balanced. Optimistic and hopeful people can often bring out the best in us and inspire good thoughts.
- Not ready to connect with others right now? Have a date night with yourself and enjoy your own company. Cook a favorite meal. Re-watch a much-loved movie. Read a book you’ve been longing to read.
- Listen to music. Music can be a powerful mood elevator. Create a playlist of uplifting and joyful music. Even better? Get up and dance or do chores around the house to your favorite songs.
- Take up a new hobby. Learning how to do something new is a wonderful way to distract ourselves from being lonely. This can also provide a renewed sense of purpose in passing time and may even provide an outlet to meet new people.
- Be accepting. Let yourself know that you won’t always be lonely. We are changing every day, and the world around us, and with change brings new opportunities and new people in our lives.
Choosing to react positively to being lonely can help us accept it, instead of spending time and energy being negative. Consider this a special time to explore new activities and enjoy your own company. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. Finding comfort in our changing world right now in small ways can help us cope and navigate this transition back to a normal lifestyle.