Does the winter have you feeling blue? Here are seven ways to feel better when you're lonely, because the seasons have a tendency to affect people — big time. And guess what else? Sometimes you just feel lonely, even if it is in the middle of summer. It happens to everyone, so let's deal with it.
The most important thing to realize about feeling lonely is that everybody goes through it. The problem is that when you're feeling lonely, that fact can be very hard to believe. But it's true! Even if someone is constantly surrounded by friends and family, she can still feel lonely; and reversely, if someone really is isolated a lot of the time, she can certainly feel lonely as well. It's common to humankind, and realizing that fact in and of itself can be a huge help if you're struggling with loneliness.
While I would certainly encourage finding ways to reach out in your situation and connect with the local community (be it through classes, meet-up groups, or anything that brings people together over a common interest), these seven suggestions below can help you find a sense of peace in your isolation. How? Mostly by reminding you that you're not actually isolated.
1. Go people watching at the park.
There's a reason people watching can be so entertaining. It takes you out of your own thoughts and helps you to look outward. Looking outward means that you're not so focused inwardly, where your loneliness is brewing. You don't have to know someone personally to get social enjoyment. In fact, sometimes it's our moments with strangers that are the most memorable and noteworthy.
2. Read a book in a coffee shop.
There are three great things about reading a book in a coffee shop. First, the book transports you to another world. Second, the coffee shop provides a comfortable social space to indulge in regardless of being alone. Third, the coffee.
3. Treat yourself to a movie.
Similarly to reading a book, going to see a movie provides a nice escape from your current state of mind. Movies remind us that anything is possible, and that though you may feel alone, we're really all in this together. I mean, is there anything more communal than sitting in a dark room and staring at the same thing (and feeling the same heavy emotions arise) with a bunch of strangers?
4. Start a gratitude journal.
Most of the time when we get ourselves down, it's because we're letting our mind take us there. While it's true that some days, weeks, and even months may suck, you have to remember that life doesn't suck. If you're not able to see your friends and family, you can still be grateful that you have friends and family somewhere in the country. If you're feeling lonely at home, you can be grateful that you have a home. See where I'm going with this?
5. Call a friend or family member.
Just because you can't physically hang out with your friends and family doesn't mean that you can't talk to them. Pick up a phone and call somebody you know if you're feeling lonely. You might have nothing to say, but I can guarantee you that those are the best phone calls to make. An hour of catching up will fly by before you know it.
6. Plan a future trip.
You're never stuck in any situation. You can always get yourself out of it. One quick way to do this without uprooting your entire life and career? Take a vacation. Even the sole act of planning a vacation is enough to get someone feeling motivated again.
7. Go for a long walk or jog.
One word: endorphins. I know you probably hate to hear it, but exercising is so key to lifting your spirits. Whether it's simply a 30 minute walk or a quick jog around the neighborhood, you will start to feel better almost immediately. Crazy how that works. Take advantage of it.