TL;DR Loneliness is normal. We all go through it. There are practical activities that you can do to help you deal with your loneliness. However, if what you’re feeling is chronic and recurring, you may need to see a professional.
Loneliness is a feeling that we all feel, regardless of age. It is a complex feeling with different causes; even when we are surrounded by our friends or people that we are comfortable with, we still feel lonely. It is just a feeling that we cannot escape.
The hard part of feeling lonely is how we deal with it. Each person has a different way of coping with loneliness; some might be better than others, but most of the time we dwell on alcohol or other destructive habits to shut out our loneliness. But there are healthier ways to deal with this feeling.
Acknowledge the Feeling
One of the best ways to solve a problem is by identifying the problem—in this case, the feeling. This way, you can narrow down your solutions or avoid the factors that might trigger the feeling. That is an important step in coping with loneliness in a much healthier way.
Realizing how loneliness impacts your life will help you deal with it better. It allows you to adapt to situations that you might find uncomfortable. For example, on weekends, if you are not comfortable going to places with a crowd but would rather spend time with your friend in an intimate setting, you could plan your weekend so you would enjoy it and not feel lonely at the same time.
Join a Group
Although it might not always be the case, being alone is one of the causes of loneliness. There is a feeling of sadness when you are isolated and alone, especially when dealing with something.
During these times, it is better to have someone to talk to. Joining a group where you can create a connection and bond can relieve loneliness. Whether it is a group you have met in the gym or a group of people that shares the same interests or hobbies as you. This creates a sense of belonging and something to look forward to. A group of people that you can talk to when you are down.
Being lonely can be stressful and will have an impact on your well-being. That is why it is always better to take the time to treat yourself. Giving yourself the proper care will help you feel positive. Sleeping 8 hours a day, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and getting enough time under the sun will surely help you with your well-being and make you feel less lonely.
And you should always make yourself the main priority. This means that you don’t need to be readily available to everyone. I know that spending time with other people will make you feel less lonely, but that is only true when you are enjoying your time with them. Always decide to put your energy into people that you are genuinely happy to be with. This will help you with how you feel and how you cope with loneliness.
Engaging in activities is a better way of dealing with loneliness; it gives your mind a break from what you feel. And when you are constantly doing activities, eventually you will forget being lonely. Of course, it will take time, but investing your energy in the right things is a step forward for the better.
Give time to what you like most, the hobbies that you haven’t done for a while, or you can start doing something new. Challenge yourself and set a new goal; this way, you can distract yourself from feeling lonely. Or if starting something is too much for you, you could always start with something simple, like solving a puzzle or finishing a book. The idea is to set yourself a goal so you can feel much better about yourself.
Get Social Media Break
One of the best ways to distract ourselves is by scrolling through social media. We can see videos, photos, and posts from our friends to our followed celebrities. But too much social media is also bad for you, especially when feeling down and lonely.
People on social media usually portray how happy they are with their lives, although that is not the reality most of the time. You can’t help but compare yourself to others you see on social media; this creates a feeling that you are not enough or that you look down on yourself, which feeds the feeling of loneliness.
Spending less time on social media and being able to focus on yourself will help you change your perspective. This will help you better accept your flaws and lessen the feeling of loneliness. If social media gives you a feeling of isolation, it would be best to log off for a while and enjoy real life.
Loneliness is a normal feeling; even when we are surrounded by our loved ones, we still feel like we are alone. There is no escaping this feeling; the better way to cope with it is to acknowledge it and deal with it firsthand. Sometimes we know the cause of why we are lonely, and sometimes we don’t. which is a big factor in how we cope with being lonely. But no matter what the cause, it is always better to make yourself a priority and healthily deal with loneliness.
Sometimes we just need someone to talk to. I am Dr. Krysti (Lan Chi) Vo, MD, a psychiatrist, speaker, and advisor. And I am more than happy to talk to you about how you feel. For more articles like this visit my website. And let’s have a chat.