Loneliness – a feeling we are all familiar with. We have all experienced loneliness in some shape or form, whether it be when we are single, when we are far from home, travelling, or even at home. I am no stranger to loneliness, and I can attest to the fact that it isn’t a great feeling to be stuck with. It can make you feel tired, anxious, and depressed, make you stress eat or not want to get out of bed or just make you cry a lot. Whatever loneliness brings you to, it is a horrible state of mind to be in. One thing I’d like to mention, though is that loneliness is very different from being alone. Loneliness is a state of mind, a feeling and usually comes with negative emotions, whereas being alone can be very peaceful and is not necessarily negative. No one deserves to feel the crushing negative weight of loneliness because it has a way of holding you down and back in so many ways. Today, I’d like to share some tips for dealing with loneliness because no matter how lonely you may feel, you are never truly alone. There are ways that you can deal with loneliness, and that is what I will be talking about today. I hope you enjoy it!
First, acknowledge it
Acknowledging something is the first step to dealing with it, and this is true in so many circumstances. When you are feeling negative emotion and pretend it isn’t there, you bottle it up. This starts creating internal stress and pressure, much like when you shake a bottle of something fizzy. Once you’ve been bottling it up for too long, refusing to acknowledge it, the bottle eventually bursts and that bursting can sometimes be a very traumatic experience. If you are feeling lonely, don’t dismiss it. You are allowed to feel lonely and shouldn’t feel ashamed of it. I’m always telling my friends that we are humans – we are allowed to feel even if that feeling is negative. If you stop dismissing your loneliness and acknowledge that you are feeling that way, you are already on your first step to dealing with it and conquering it.
Tell the people close to you
I know that this can sometimes seem like a scary idea, to tell people that you are experiencing something negative like loneliness, but this is precisely what you need to do. The people closest to us, family members, our partners or close friends, are usually in that close circle because they understand us and care about us. We think that we are the only one feeling loneliness – as if we are trapped in a dark bubble, and no one will understand how we feel. But lots of other people feel this. You’ll be surprised how understanding friends and family will be if you feel lonely. By telling people, they will be aware that you need to feel more connected to the community. Telling the people closest to you is like stretching out your arm for them to take hold of. People can only help you if you tell them. You’d be surprised what real friends and loving family members will do if they know someone they care about is suffering. By telling them, you are giving them the invitation to start pulling you out of that dark bubble.
Do a social media detox
As much as I love social media, it can sometimes be a horrible reminder of everything we aren’t and don’t have. I love scrolling and seeing all of the gorgeous pictures when I am feeling happy and in a good place. When I feel low, though, seeing other people smiling with friends or doing fun things might as well be a knife to my gut. It just acts as a reminder that they are having fun with friends while I am stuck in a bubble of loneliness. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt this way, right? The way to fix this, to stop letting your loneliness be magnified by social media, is to do a social media detox. You don’t have to be so extreme as to delete your social media accounts, but try to go at least a day or two without going online. By doing a social media detox, your loneliness won’t be amplified by seeing other people having fun with friends. This will also give you some time and space to try and deal with your loneliness.
Get active and organised
A lot of the time, we can start to feel lonely when we think that our life is chaotic or we are not active. If you spend all day sitting at home not really doing anything, loneliness isn’t an uncommon thing to feel. So, how can you change this? Quite simply, either get active or get organised. If you try to get some aspects of your life under control (yes I know this can be hard, but you can even arrange little things like your room or your daily schedule), this may stop loneliness from settling in because you have a sense of control of your life. If you feel lonely because you aren’t doing anything all day, then try to get active. Doing small things that don’t involve sitting and doing nothing can sometimes just be the tiny thing that cures you of all your loneliness. So, try doing one of these things, and you just might find that you don’t feel so lonely anymore.
Okay, being independent may seem like the opposite thing you want to do when you are feeling lonely but hear me out before you scoff and move on. When you are feeling lonely, one of the biggest reasons why you might feel this way is because you feel left out and are missing all the fun. You see other people doing fun things, going on adventures and living an exciting life and yours just seems dull in comparison. Doing things independently, such as doing something fun or adventurous on your own (it could be something small) can be a great way to both conquer that feeling of loneliness (because you are actually doing something). You are no longer sitting on the sidelines, being the person who isn’t doing anything fun. There is nothing more satisfactory or thrilling than conquering something alone and getting some sense of independence, as ironic as it sounds, will probably dull that feeling of loneliness substantially because you’re doing something and no longer sitting and wallowing in loneliness.
This may be another one that sounds strange, but again, hear me out before you roll your eyes. While we may feel lonely, that doesn’t mean that we are giving ourselves any ME time. We all need some me-time every now and then, and it can be a very rejuvenating time so if you are feeling lonely because you don’t have friends to spend time with, why not use this time for yourself. Use the alone time to dive into a good book, binge watch a show or just spend all day relaxing in your PJs and eating your favourite food. This type of thing is needed every now and then and can help you understand that it is okay to feel alone, and it doesn’t have to transform into loneliness. Don’t let feeling lonely stop you from spending some quality time with yourself and who knows, maybe after a few hours of binge-watching and a hot bubble bath, you won’t feel so lonely anymore because you are feeling rejuvenated and content from being alone.
This may seem like exactly the same thing as me time, but it is slightly different, even though the methods and ways you can practice self-care may look identical to what you would do in me-time depending on who you are. Practising self-care is a great way to counter loneliness because sometimes loneliness can emerge because we haven’t been looking after ourselves. One of the main reasons for loneliness is unfortunately low self-esteem, and this can be caused because we haven’t been practising self-care. Take some time to look after yourself, and by this, I mean take some time to appreciate things about yourself, do things that relieve you of stress and make you happy and peaceful. When we do things like this, we transition into a much more positive mental space, and by doing that, feelings of loneliness might vanish because we no longer feel so down and depressed. A happy, healthy head can often cure so many more things than you realise, especially loneliness because when we are happy, we don’t think about all the things that we aren’t experiencing (like not spending time with people) but rather all the things that are making us happy. Try that, and your loneliness might disappear altogether.
Leave the house
Sometimes the easiest way to cure loneliness is to simply get off your butt or out of bed and get out of the house. At the beginning of this year when I was starting my gap year, I didn’t have much to do besides study for a few tests, so I spent a lot of time at home, and that resulted in me feeling very lonely, especially since everyone else I knew was out and busy doing work or at university. Simply being in your house for too long, even if you aren’t stuck in it per se, can lead to loneliness and the easiest way to fix that is to get out of your house. Try plan ways to get out and do things that can’t be done at home, even if it is only once a week. Go for a walk in the park, go out to a movie or simply volunteer to do the shopping for your house if needs be. That change of scenery and burst of fresh air, being somewhere other than your home where you are doing the same boring thing and waiting for the day to end, can be the fastest cure to loneliness that you’ll ever find.
Intentionally interact with people
Maybe you are feeling lonely because you have started university and haven’t made any new friends yet, or have moved to an area where you don’t know anyone? You could be lonely simply because you don’t have anyone around to make you not lonely. Well, there is an easy way to solve this (although it is easier said than done) and that is to intentionally interact with people. Make a point of finding ways to socialise, and you’ll soon discover that you have more than enough people to interact with. Look into meetup groups for your particular hobbies or interests, find a club to join, anything where you are intentionally interacting with people. By doing this, you will now have people to talk to and so the issue of loneliness, because you didn’t have anyone to interact with, will be solved.
Make plans to meet up
Sometimes life just gets in the way, and people want to make plans to meet up, but it slips their mind, and then it never happens. This doesn’t mean that people don’t want to meet up or hang out. Sometimes they just need the shove or the offer, and then they will be more than happy to meet up. Make a point of scheduling meetups with your friends – a weekly coffee or some other way that you can all get together and hang out. Your friends will definitely appreciate you making a point to meet up, even if they didn’t suggest the idea themselves. By making plans to meet up, you will also counter your loneliness because you know that you are not really alone because you have concrete plans to go and spend time with friends.
And so there you have it! I hope that you all found this post useful and found at least one way that might help you deal with loneliness because no one deserves to feel that depressing feeling. Loneliness is a tricky, nasty thing to conquer, so I hope that at least one of these tips proves useful to you. However, if you do feel lonely and that you have no one to talk to, please feel free to contact me through the blog, and I will be more than happy to chat. I know what it is like to feel lonely, and sometimes you just need to know that someone is there to listen. Well, to all of you – I am here and more than happy to listen! Thank you all so much for reading – please don’t forget to like this blog post if you haven’t already and subscribe so you don’t miss out on future blog posts. You are all amazing!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx