Something I have suffered from for most of my life is loneliness. I have lots of amazing friends and a wonderful family, however sometimes I find myself feeling completely sad and alone. I can feel it when I’m with a partner or when I’m in a room full of people. It’s especially prevalent when we are bombarded with constant images of others being, well, not lonely. ( See post #6).
I’ve spent a bit of time trying out ways of dealing with this and here is what I’ve come up with:
- Ask yourself is it loneliness or something else? Perhaps it is boredom or frustration? Sit quietly and ask yourself “What is it that I’m really feeling?” If it is boredom, there are lots of ways to alleviate this – call a friend, arrange to meet up, watch a film, go for a walk… if it’s frustration, ask yourself what it’s about. Talking this through with a trusted friend can help.
- If it is genuine loneliness, connecting with another person can really help. I have a small circle of people I can totally rely on to help me out of a funk when loneliness descends on me. If it feels as though your friends are all too busy with their own lives consider making new connections through a group or a new hobby. Going back to college gave me a whole group of new friends.
- Cultivate alone time – make time on your own something you enjoy rather than something you dread. Write a list of all the things you love doing then pick out the ones that you can do alone – be brave – visit a gallery on your own, go see a film, make something. Set yourself a realistic time frame – spend an hour doing something by yourself – you may be surprised at how much you enjoy it.
- Immerse yourself in a task – clean out your wardrobe or polish all the mirrors in your house. This focusing of the mind can take you out of your empty state and literally change your mindset.
- Another tip is to surrender to it. Accept that it’s there and don’t resist it. This act of accepting and surrendering can work wonders! One of my favourite sayings is “This too shall pass” – nothing lasts forever including feeling lonely.