Feeling Lonely Will Happen In Life So Learn To Manage It Now
I knew that loneliness wasn’t good for you. Still, it surprised me to learn that feeling lonely ongoing can add to cognitive decline and ultimately be as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. I’m not making that up, there’s a study that says so. We all know the examples of an older person losing a spouse or children going off to college leaving a parent suddenly home alone. But, there are many other examples of loneliness too. Someone who can’t find a romantic relationship might struggle with loneliness, people in situations where they are unhappy or not with like-minded people may feel terribly lonely as well. Feeling lonely can also come from feeling disconnected from the people around you. Or, if someone you care about dies. Loneliness can creep up or attack you at any time in life.
Things To Help With The Loneliness
There are different things I like to do when I feel lonely but the first is always reach out to a friend. I’m so grateful that through my interests, recovery groups, and places I’ve lived, I’ve made friends. If you’re not good at making friends, read this. Family is also phenomenal to spend time with when you’re lonely as long as you like them and that is a healthy situation for you. My partner travels for work and I’ll sometimes go stay with my mom in Florida. I can understand and respect the fact that he has to work away but if I don’t want to be alone for weeks on end, it’s my responsibility to find people to spend time with.
Personal growth and service will combat loneliness
Recovery work. I’m the laziest when it comes to my recovery work, meaning 12-step work, emotional sobriety work, and whatever else I’m working on. But, when I do it I am at my best. I’m able to be that person I want to be, accepting, kind, compassionate, you know–the best self. For some reason that is beyond me, doing recovery work and being of service to other people is a phenomenal cure for loneliness. Let’s get back to service. What are you doing to help your community, your family, or causes you care about? If you aren’t doing anything to support other people, animals or places, consider it. It makes me feel like a better person and others are being helped by my time, my money, and my caring. It matters to others when you care about them.
Read, Watch, Laugh
Entertainment, baby! You wouldn’t seriously think you’d read a blog and not get a list of entertainment to keep you from feeling lonely. I’ve fallen in love with books again this past year. I read for pleasure, I read self-help for self-improvement, and I read the Internet for entertainment. Read a good biography, or fiction best seller, or get serious about self-improvement. What’s your issue, personal finances, family dynamics, and time management? Read about it! Learn and improve your skills! Then watch anything that entertains you and helps you feel light.
Exercise The Toneliness Away
How about physical activities? I go to Yoga to see people, I used to go to gyms and have trainers, and that was so fun. Finding physical activities you enjoy is great because you can create a community around them with gyms or meet-up apps. A physical goal like getting into shape or running a half-marathon can also keep you busy!
Mental Health And Recovery Support
Recovery support groups. Let’s be honest, many of my friends have come out of recovery meetings. You don’t have to love 12-step to go. Check it out to see if there are any people you relate to. If your loneliness is impacted by stress from another area of life, get some help with whatever’s stressing you out. This is a time to seek help if your thoughts are very negative or harmful!
Hobbies, Passions, Skills
Is there anything you used to do that you miss? Picking up reading for me was picking up a passion I had when I was younger. Bringing back a hobby from the past can be fun. So, can teaching a skill you have to others. Maybe this is a time to offer your skills in some way. Or seriously consider doing something you always wanted to do. What’s holding you back?
Nature, Fun, and New Activites
Don’t forget to get outside and feel the power of the natural world. Nature is famous for making people feel better. While you’re outside think about what might be a fun new activity. Or maybe what might be fun. I want to go to the movies soon, so that’s on my list. What’s on yours?
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