- Loneliness is a normal human experience that many people struggle with at some point in their lifetime.
- Some strategies that can help combat loneliness include spending time in nature, joining a club, or connecting with a friend, among others.
- Talking to a therapist can provide helpful tools to combat loneliness and pinpoint the triggers that cause feelings of loneliness.
Feeling lonely is a human experience that many go through at some point in their lifetime. While it may seem like social media and new technology could make us feel more connected than ever, it can sometimes do the opposite and cause more feelings of isolation.
Loneliness isn’t necessarily about being physically surrounded by people, but more so about a feeling a lack of connection. If you find yourself in this situation, the good news is that there are many helpful strategies that can help combat loneliness in a healthy way. Follow along for 12 things to try to help you feel a little less lonely.
One place to start if you’re feeling lonely is to play music to fill the house. According to Healthline, sound can help to fill the space in your environment and mind, making loneliness feel less overwhelming. Music can boost your mood and motivate you, so next time you’re feeling lonely, try to play one of your favorite playlists.
Aside from music, there are other ways to fill your home with sound such as audiobooks, podcasts, or TV shows. These can help break the silence and help you feel connected, even if it’s just background noise. If you find these options distracting, you could also try to simply open a window and listen to birds to help you feel connected to the world.
Connect With a Friend
If you’re craving deep connection, it could be helpful to plan a time to chat with a friend or family member. While everyone has busy lives and it’s not always easy to plan time together, you can add simple rituals to your week or month to keep you connected.
This can be as simple as a phone call to catch up or planning one Friday a month to go out for dinner. While sending a quick text may seem like an easy way to stay connected, the power of a 10-minute conversation hearing someone’s voice can help ease loneliness in a powerful way.
Spend Time Outside
Spending time outside and changing up your environment can do wonders for your mood and overall wellness. Getting outside and being in the path of others can be a great reminder that you aren’t alone and can ease feelings of loneliness and distress.
Your time in nature can be as simple as going for a walk and breathing in fresh air. Another great way to spend time outside is to get your hands in the soil and garden. Both of these activities have proven to be meditative and have the ability to re-energize you and reduce feelings of isolation.
Working on a creative project can help get you out of your head and feel connected to something of purpose. Creative projects such as writing, music, and art are a few ways that help many people cope with isolation and navigate loneliness.
Creative projects are also a great way to express emotions and how you’re feeling, which can be a cathartic experience. These pursuits can ultimately help you feel happier and can leave you feeling fulfilled, satisfied and rewarded.
Consider a Pet
Adding a pet to your life is another great way to combat loneliness. While pets cannot talk, they can provide you with feelings of companionship and have been proven to boost mood and relieve stress. A dog specifically can give you reason to get outside and go for a walk on a daily basis, which can also boost happiness and ease loneliness.
You could also consider fostering a pet if you’re not looking for a long-term commitment. Many shelters offer programs that will allow you to temporarily provide a home for an animal in need.
Do Something You Love
Loneliness has the ability to take over your thoughts and can distract you from focussing on the things in life that you love. Next time you find yourself feeling lonely, try to reach for an activity or hobby that brings you happiness.
Your hobbies can be anything that bring you joy, whether it be reading, video games, knitting, practicing yoga, or baking. These activities can help to bring a sense of normalcy, calm and grounding to your life and serve as an act of self-care.
Take a Social Media Break
We are all aware at this point that social media is a highlight reel, but knowing this doesn’t always stop us from comparing our lives to others. If you find yourself feeling despair or stress from social media, it could be time to take a break. While social media is intended to make us feel connected, it can sometimes do the opposite and make us feel lonelier than ever.
Taking a break from social media can help you detach from false realities and deepen the connections in your own life. You might be surprised with how satisfied and happy you feel without the constant pressure and comparison that social media can cause.
Join a Club
If you’re craving new friendships in your life, it could be helpful to join a club. While it might be uncomfortable at first, it could be totally worth it to meet new people with similar interests. You could sign up for a sports team, dance class, book club, or pottery class, to name a few.
Finding connections with those that have common interests is a great starting point to grow deep, meaningful connections. It’s also a great way to feel a sense of belonging and community since you are a part of a team with a common goal.
Strike Up Conversation With a Stranger
If you’re someone who lives alone or works primarily from home, you may be lonely because you lack casual interaction throughout your day. Next time you’re out running errands or sitting on a bus, try to strike up a casual conversation with a stranger. You might be surprised at how fulfilling this can be in a small way.
The great thing about strangers is that they don’t know you and won’t judge you. And even if they do, you’ll likely never see them again! Talking to a stranger can help you feel connected to the world and it may even lead to a long-term friendship if the interaction is positive.
One of the best ways to feel connected to others and your community is to volunteer your time. Some ideas to consider could be dedicating time helping the elderly or making meals at a soup kitchen.
Spending time helping others is an amazing way to give perspective to your own situation and feel rewarded in the process. Simply getting out of the house and helping others can be a powerful tool to combat loneliness and increase feelings of intimacy and connection.
Listen to Podcasts
Sometimes it takes listening to a good pep talk from an outsider to get you out of your head and feeling connected to the world and reality. One place to look when you need some encouragement is motivational podcasts.
The conversational nature of podcasts can create a sense of connection and help you feel a part of the conversation. Many podcasts operate interview style and offer value in some way so it’s also a great educational tool to passively learn about topics you may be interested in.
Reach Out for Help
Another great tool to help you cope with loneliness is to talk with a therapist. A mental health professional can give you strategies to cope when you feel lonely and can listen to your personal situation. They can also likely help pinpoint the cause of your loneliness, which may not be something you’re able to determine on your own.
If you struggle with persistent loneliness, it could be a sign of a deeper rooted mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety. A professional will help you sort through your feelings, listen to your symptoms, and create a treatment plan to help you feel happier and more connected.