Loneliness has been the darkness in my life that always finds its way to haunt me. When I begin to feel like I’ve finally overcome it, I find myself feeling isolated and lonely all over again.
The truth is I’ve always enjoyed my own company. However for the past few years I spent long periods of time in isolation due to experiencing low-moods which has resulted in me frequently battling with loneliness and feeling detached from others. I’ve always struggled with feeling like I have no one who understands me nor I can connect to on an emotional level. Loneliness is such a horrible feeling. It feels like you’re invisible and no one cares enough to help.
I’ve come to realize that my battles with loneliness are partly rooted in certain childhood and adolescent experiences. This is an area of my life that I’m only now beginning to explore and I look forward to the possibility of gaining a better understanding of how these issues have affected me. Another root cause I’ve identified comes from my current reality. I work 9-5, with friends all over the country and I don’t get an opportunity to see people often. Somedays I just crave going out for Friday drinks or having intimate conversations with my friends in person but this rarely happens these days as everyone is so busy. When experiencing loneliness what has helped me is using a few coping mechanisms to go through the motions a little bit easier.
Here’s a list of (tried) practical things to do when feeling lonely:
1. Show gratitude- This is probably the thing you want to do the least when you’re feeling lonely but focusing on being thankful for the things you have in your life puts things into perspective. Instead of focusing on what you lack, showing your appreciation for the mundane things like waking up in the morning, hearing a song you like, will help re-shift your energy so that you feel more positive. Try writing down 10 things you’re grateful for or say it through prayer/meditation. You will begin to realize that your current feelings are just another hurdle you will eventually overcome.
2. Contact someone you love- Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone and express how you feel. If they have time, ask to meet with them or send them a message. Having that human interaction helps a lot. You’ll be surprised to learn that there’s people out there who feel the same way as you so you reaching out could also be helping them!
3. Get out the house- Avoid spending too much time in isolation because it’s not good for your mental wellbeing. Your environment can consume that energy, so if you’re constantly inside feeling lonely and sorry for yourself then your environment will start to feel negative. This will make it harder to deal with your emotions in a productive way. Walk down the road, take yourself out to the museum or go out to eat. Do something outside of the house so you can clear your mind. And don’t be afraid to do this all by yourself.
4. Write down your feelings- You don’t have to be a writer. Just write down how you feel unfiltered. Don’t judge yourself whilst you write. It’s your opportunity to express yourself. Writing your feelings down can really help put things into perspective. It’s an opportunity to dig deeper at the root causes of why you’re feel lonely and to identify areas that need healing in your life.
5. Declare the day as “me day”- If you don’t have anyone to reach out to in that present moment, rather than wallowing in self-pity, get up and declare it as a day dedicated to you alone. This is where the power of perspective comes in. Spend the day pampering yourself and doing what you love (vibing to music, drawing etc). Maybe those days you feel lonely is a sign to fall deeply in love with your own company. So spend it getting to know yourself at a little bit better. Be your own best friends for those lonely days (this might sound silly but i’d literally envision myself spending time with my clone). This will help you cope better when it comes to those days you’re feeling hella lonely.
Do you ever feel lonely? What are your coping mechanisms, if you have any at all?