If you’ve been feeling sad and lonely, here are 8 ways to beat loneliness.
Because of the spread of Coronavirus, and the many requests for quarantine, many people began talking openly about experiencing feelings of loneliness.
Unfortunately, loneliness was already prevalent 0 even before quarantine requests began happening.
And loneliness has remained a crippling issue for many people – even post quarantine.
As you might know, I’m a bestselling author, award winning designer and happiness researcher. I wrote a book called Happy Habits.
In my research, I learned a lot about how to make sure you develop positive habits which lead to your best life – by embracing specific principles of “habit formation.”
In my book Happy Habits, I share a range of habits to help people to feel more connected to others and thereby less isolated and lonely.
With this in mind, in this article I will be sharing 8 specific habits to beat loneliness.
First of all, if you’re seeking ways to beat loneliness, it’s important to know…
Plus, it’s also good to know that there are (thankfully) ways that you can beat your loneliness.
Below are 8 habits to explore right now.
(Psssst…if you’re committed to living a life you love, learn more about my HAPPY HABITS book here!)
If you’re feeling lonely, then one of the best things you can do for yourself is to help other people.
Yep, I know that during lockdowns (or if you’re isolating) then there are fewer opportunities to volunteer to work in charity organizations or visit people.
But there are also more people than ever these days who need help.
Basically, there are more people – just like you – who are feeling lonely!
So sign up for a campaign such as the million minutes campaign and find something that you can help with.
It might be just giving someone a call each week and helping them to feel less lonely. This will not only make you feel good – but it will relieve some of other people’s loneliness too.
Alternatively, there are charities and organizations who are helping to make sure that people have the food and supplies they need during the lockdown. And there are also ways you can help with the battle on COVID-19.
While it’s not the best time for getting out of the house and meeting new people in traditional ways, the pandemic may just give you new opportunities to meet new people who are feeling just the same as you do.
Looking for ways to beat loneliness? Well, pets are an excellent way to alleviate loneliness – because they give you both love and purpose.
You have to feed them, play with them, walk them, and comfort them – which gives you someone else to think about but they also give you joy and comfort too.
If you get yourself a dog, then you’ll have to focus on the puppy training, to begin with. As a dog owner, let me tell you: THIS is an excellent distraction for you! Plus walking a dog is a great way to meet and talk to people – at a safe distance.
Also, look for dog walking groups in your area so that you can meet people to walk with each day. If you don’t think you can commit to having a dog then you can look into borrowing someone else’s to go for walks with. Or you can look getting another kind of pet. Basically, any pet will give you love and company, so just choose the right one for you.
It seems an obvious point to make to just keep in contact with people. But… it is really important to include in this list – because it’s more important than ever to make the effort to contact people when you are feeling lonely.
When you’re not at your best it can be tempting to ignore everyone.
Perhaps you don’t want people to know that you’re feeling sad and lonely – because you don’t want to bring other people down.
If you don’t feel like you want to talk to friends or family, then talk to strangers online. Or call a charity like The Samaritans. Once you have spoken to someone, then you may feel better about speaking to your friends and family.
Thanks to Skype and Zoom, talking to others has never been easier. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you live or where they live. You can always contact your friends and family – or even find old friends who you haven’t seen for years. Simply reach out to them. They may be feeling just like you do and be really glad to hear from you.
If the thought of using this technology fills you with dread then find a computer course in your area so that you feel more confident with today’s technology. In fact, getting more comfortable with technology will open a whole new world for you.
If you’re lacking in friends, then it’s important to know that you’re not the only one. No matter what age you are, there are always people looking for more friends just like you.
They may have just moved to the area. Or they may be new moms and feeling like they have lost their friends. Plus it might be that all your friends have just gotten married and had babies but you haven’t. And so you’re feeling lonely.
No matter what the situation is, you’ll be surprised how many people are in the same boat.
Again, you’ll find these people online. Plus, there will be Facebook groups for people in your area.
Or you could treat making friends just as you would dating and use an app like Bumble to find friends. It might feel a little weird at first. But once you get going, you’ll be fine and you might meet your new BFF.
Sitting at home alone will only make you feel more lonely.
While it’s really important to focus on your mental health (and how to manage that), don’t forget how linked your mental and physical health are together.
So whether you get out for walks everyday, start running or practice Tai Chi, yoga, or at-home workouts by following Youtube videos make sure that you get moving.
Plus you’ll continue to feel better each day as you get fitter and healthier.
You’ll look better because you’re trimmer and healthier – which will make you feel good.
And you’ll sleep better – which will make you feel good.
In general, you’ll find that you are much happier.
Even if your situation hasn’t changed, your perspective will change – because exercise will change your serotonin and dopamine levels. You’ll be better able to realize that you’re not alone.
As a result, you’ll feel less lonely because your mind is in a much better place.
It’s also convenient to exercise at home. Commuting to the gym and packing your gear in your work bag is no longer necessary.
Again this might be something that you find difficult to do. But if you want to stop feeling this way – then you need to ask for help.
If you don’t feel like you can ask friends and family just yet, then try a helpline. And if they can’t help you directly, then they will be able to assist you in realizing what you need to ask for and how to speak to your family and friends about it.
They will give you the confidence to do it and help you find the words you need.
Only you know what will create meaning in your life. But if you’re not sure what your options are right now then perhaps you need some encouragement.
While options are limited it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
For example, there are plenty of online courses available which you could sign up for and do a bit of work each day. This will give you purpose and you’ll learn something too.
You could also give yourself a project such as creating a family tree which you can do using a genealogy website. Or you could get creative and start writing or drawing or making something.
Perhaps you used to be good at drawing at school but haven’t done it for years. Or is there a musical instrument you want to pick up again? Now is the time to do it.
One of the most common indicators of loneliness is broken sleep.
Does it take you a long time to fall asleep?
Or do you wake up frequently?
If so, then you probably feel sleepy during the day – and this is no good for your mental health.
Sleep deprivation will bring down your mood and make you more likely to get sick and feel like you have less energy.
There are plenty of tips on how to get good quality sleep, as well as guided meditations which can be really useful.
I offer a range of ways to relax your mind and sleep better in my video course, The Anxiety Cure.
If you’ve been struggling with insomnia, focus on getting more sleep and you’ll soon start to feel better and a little less lonely.
If you’re committed to living a life you love, learn more about my book here!