There’s a difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Opening Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook makes it feel like everyone else in our lives are busy taking beautiful pictures, making lovely food, or going to exotic places. Loneliness sets in when we feel disconnected, unwanted, or left out. It’s looking at those pictures and thinking “I don’t have anyone to be with or no one wants to be with me”.
Log off your device. Take time to unplug and focus on where you are in that moment. Give yourself a designated time each day to put your phone, computer, and tv on pause. This pause gives you a chance to take a moment for yourself without feeling like you have to be somewhere or someone else.
Create something. Do you like to draw? What about cooking? It doesn’t matter what it is but taking time to create something can fill the time on your own with meaning and purpose.
Find connection. We can find a connection in a lot of ways when we are alone. These include meditation, nature, pet, reading a book, and many others. Find an activity or place that reminds you that you are a part of the universe moving around you.
Name the loneliness. A lot of us are scared to say that we are lonely. It feels like you are admitting something “wrong” about yourself. In reality, the majority of Americans report feeling lonely, you are not alone in feeling alone. Naming that feeling takes away its power to shame us.
Help someone else. Research has shown that volunteering and helping others can lessen symptoms of depression and hopelessness. Find a cause that you are passionate about and spend time pouring into it. You’ll be surprised by how much it impacts you!
Remember, we all feel lonely sometimes. It doesn’t mean that you are alone or unseen. If you’re struggling with overwhelming sadness, stress, or grief you don’t have to deal with that alone. Please reach out to the Summit if you’d like more information about how therapy could be helpful for you.