Many of us live alone, and during this strange time, this can be especially isolating. Some of us might live with others, yet still feel alone. Perhaps we feel unsupported, or misunderstood or maybe the people you live with are toxic. Ore maybe we suffer from anxiety. Whatever the reason, loneliness can seriously affect your mental health. Being social beings, this can be really hard on our mental health. So how do we cope when we are alone? How can we feel less lonely?
Right now, my region is on a lockdown. The first lockdown back in the spring I dealt with emotionally a lot better than I am with second one, and it’s so frustrating not being able to get out to get out and just buy a pair of pants, or browse books at the bookstore. Getting out into stores sometimes just makes me feel less alone and helps boost my creativity, but right now this isn’t an option. So many of these tips are great for those of us locked down.
But they are great for everyone, especially those suffering from anxiety, because feeling lonely isn’t something you only experience during Covid.
Connect with Supportive Friends
This isn’t an easy one, but we can call, text, Zoom or FaceTime. Contact with others is definitely the best way to feel less lonely. Perhaps you can do a cocktail night, or a book club night. Join an online group–there are plenty on Facebook, and sites like Goodreads. I’m only not one to usually recommend tons of screen time, but this is an option if you can’t often connect with friends. Reach out to friends, sometimes that’s all we need to do to re-connect. Even if they are busy, make a time to connect and spend some time chatting. Don’t give up on reaching out, because they do care.
Get a Pet
If you have been thinking of getting a pet, now might be the time. Please make sure you have the time and means to take care of the pet long term. Pets are living creatures and deserve respect and love. If you don’t have the time or money, then this may not be an option for you. Some pets that you can get that are not overly costly would be a betta fish, but be aware it cannot live in a bowl. So please do your research before you become a pet owner as you might be surprised as the actual care requirements of animals traditionally regarded as “easy” pets. That being said, a pet can provide reduce stress, are interesting to watch and can keep you company. I adore my pets, even the ones that more observational than interactive and cuddly, and they often help me feel less lonely.
Read a Book
Okay okay, I know that reading isn’t doing something with others, however it makes you feel connected to the characters.This elicits empathy, and thus you feel less lonely.
Reading helps me feel connected. Yes, the characters are imaginary, but because reading fiction allows you to feel connected to another person (so what if they aren’t real?), it can help you feel less alone and more uplifted. There are lots of online sites that offer free books–though some might have preuim options too. Your local library is another option, and both likely have access to audiobooks if that is your thing. Or, invest in a book or two for your library.
Connect with Nature
Okay, I know that you are alone if you are out in nature, but if you take a walk in a park or go on a hike, you are connected to nature. This can be hugely uplifting and definitely reduces stress. Plus, you can take up a little birding maybe. Paying attention to the trees and animals somehow always helps me less alone, especially if I can watch a bird–even if only for a few minutes– because I am connected to Mother Nature. This connection isn’t one you should take for granted.
Do Something Creative
I love crochet and writing. But there’s tons of creative and artistic options out there. What’s more, you can share your art on social media platforms and engage with others. If you are a yarn artist, or crafter share on Ravelry, if you are a writer you can share on Wattpad. This is especially good for those who are suffering from loneliness due to lockdowns. But it’s always nice to connect with others who can provide feedback or just love the media you are into creating, and these conversations and interactions can help us feel less lonely. So get creative!
Final Thoughts and a Word of Warning
If you are someone like me, who already suffers from anxiety, do reach out for help if you need it. Never overlook the services out there (paid or otherwise) that can help support you. Always continue to practice your self care routines, whatever they might be because skipping out on them can lead you into a downward spiral. And above all, remember life is beautiful and that no matter how lonely how feel, you are never truly alone.
What are some things you do to feel less lonely? Share in the comments below.