Did I get your attention?
Now, before you start composing an email back to me chewing me out for this statement, hear me out.
Loneliness is horrible and boring as H3!! However, being alone does not have to mean you are lonely. Nor does being with someone mean you are not lonely.
Think about loneliness by it’s definitions: “the perception of being alone AND isolated” or “a feeling of disconnectedness or isolation.” These definitions speak about a state of mind.
Does this mean you want to be lonely? No! But, it does mean that loneliness can be changed!
There are times when we add in alternative facts or deny the existing facts in our reality, which contribute to us “feeling” a certain way. When it comes to loneliness, let’s say we feel as though we do not have the connection we want and start thinking in negative ways about it. These thoughts can include derogatory statements about yourself like “Nobody likes to be with me” or
“Why am I . . . ?” These thoughts lead us into what I call a “$h!t spiral” and then all the negative emotions like loneliness show up.
Time to stop (or at least slow down) the spiral and the negative emotions by doing something else.
When I searched the internet for strategies to combat loneliness, here is what I found:
Did you know there is a global pen pal program for free? Check it out here
Nextdoor is an app to connect with people in your neighborhood. Why not ask them what they are doing for fun or if the neighborhood park is open? Check it out here.
Here is another list of things to do at home for free. They include ideas to do with kids. Find out more HERE.
Want to listen to different sounds and play with them? Here is a site to CHECK OUT. I especially like “Tin Roof Rain.”
It’s helpful to be aware of the changes in your emotions, even if they are difficult. When we are feeling lonely, this can be especially hard AND it is necessary.
Here are some tips (to use when you're ready) to use to manage the loneliness:
Sit where you are and take a couple of deep stomach breaths. Notice any sensations in your body and take an inventory of your emotions right now.
Try to name each emotion.
If you are struggling with naming your emotions, try noticing the words that come to mind. How would you name those words for someone else?
Ask yourself, “What else am I feeling right now?” Consider writing these feelings out to help your brain process the information differently.
Think about the person(s) you miss and think about how you could support them. What would you like to tell them? Write it out in a text or letter and send it.
Focus on the present moment and everything around you right now.
Now, if none of these ideas work and you feel like you cannot overcome loneliness on your own, please reach out to a therapist in your area. Don’t know where to start? Try searching on PsychologyToday.com. If you are in Minnesota, reach out to me and we can set up a time to talk. If you are in crisis, please reach out immediately for help. You can call 1-800-273-8255 to reach a 24 hour crisis center or Text MHA to 741741 or Call 9-1-1
Let’s change our states of minds together!