Being alone does not mean that you have to feel lonely. Many of us had more alone time than we ever thought we wanted during the lockdown and now crave interaction. Many were at home with family and felt they had no time to themselves and now want solitude.
We feel lonely because we are born with the need and desire to connect with others. All of us have felt lonely at some point in our lives, but, if you feel lonely most of the time, it’s time to take action and change that. Being in the presence of others all the time is usually not possible and so it’s important to learn to be alone without feel lonely.
Below are some strategies:
1- If your alone time is usually spent in your home, make sure the home looks and feels comfortable for you, that you are surrounded with things that bring you joy. When our surroundings are pleasing to us, we feel better.
2- Following up with above, if you find yourself outside of your home and alone, take yourself somewhere that looks and feels good to you. Perhaps to a park, a restaurant, a store, a movie.
3- Find some solitary activities you enjoy doing, like a hobby. Have whatever is necessary to engage in that hobby on hand so that you can pick it up anytime you feel like it.
4- Call a family member or friend to check in. This will temporarily change the cycle of loneliness and allow you to walk down a different path.
5- Take yourself out for a cup of coffee or lunch. Bring a book or magazine with you, or just people watch. Try not to feel sorry for yourself that you’re alone, rather, feel proud of yourself that you are taking care of your needs.
6- Go out for a walk, preferably to someplace peaceful. Walking reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the body.
7- Listen to music. Studies show that music is not only great for great for your mood, but it is also great for the brain. And for added pleasure, sing along with the music.
8- Go to a movie, coffee house for music, poetry reading. Relish the feeling that you get to pick out the movie you want to see, at a time and in a theater you want, rather than having to negotiate with someone else.
9- Get book recommendations from others and immerse yourself in a good book.
10- If you find that you’re usually alone, you may want to consider getting a pet for companionship.
11- Find people and activities to do online. There are plenty of online organizations that have activities, either virtual or in person, that you can join. It’s a good way to develop interests and relationships.
Loneliness is not a good feeling. The feeling can easily snowball and turn into depression and anxiety. Focus on what you can do and have done to counteract the feeling so that you can feel strong and proud of your accomplishments.