7 Ways To Overcome Loneliness
We as human beings are wired to reject solitude. It’s in our very nature to seek comfort in others. This is a habit that’s been ingrained in us for generations because it was necessary for the survival of our species. So it’s no surprise that being alone is more or less difficult for all of us. For some, it may be harder than others. It might sound counterintuitive, but those who struggle with being alone are often the ones who need it the most.
Three years ago, I used to live with my parents and two younger sisters. Our house was small, hence always crowded. When I began my engineering degree I had to move halfway across the country and started living alone. I went from coming home to a house that was always alive to coming home to a place where it was always silent. The shift was so sudden, and so noticeable that it took me a while to get used to it. But I soon found out that this change was exactly what I needed to grow.
Maybe you are stuck at home alone during quarantine or maybe you just got out of a relationship or maybe you are someone like me who is suddenly facing a drastic change. Here are seven ways that will help overcome loneliness and help you grow into a better version of yourself. And I promise you, none of these is just going to tell you to get a friend because I know that sometimes the circumstances are not that simple. Instead I want to help you focus on finding the positive sides of solitude.
1. Identify the reason behind your feelings of loneliness.
Loneliness doesn’t always stem from a lack of company. We might be surrounded by people and yet still feel alone. This form of loneliness is usually a result of a lack of meaningful relationships with the people around us. If you have hundreds of friends and yet still feel this void inside you, ask yourself if you can have a meaningful conversation with any of them. If not, then you might start considering the possibility of working on developing a more meaningful bond with the people around you.
Even the most ordinary person you can think of has a deep and rich universe inside their heads. Every person you know is beautifully complex, but their complexities are usually hidden behind a wall they’ve built to prevent judgment. Listen, really listen to the people around you and see if you can take a peek behind that wall. You might find something incredible.
2. Take the time to know yourself better
Throughout our lifetime we have all acquired countless scars, from some form of trauma, from neglect, from abuse or mistakes we’ve made in the past. Some of these scars heal with time. Some stay with us. And the longer they stay, the more they start to define us. They stay with us until they’ve been acknowledged and tended to and give rise to a trail of negative habits that affect our mental health, our relationships, and sometimes work.
Take the time to acknowledge your pain by writing your experiences onto paper or by talking them out loud. This will enable you to better understand your issues and how they can be overcome. Being alone allows you to do this in peace without the fear of being labeled as a crazy person who talks to themselves. Start to notice the negative behaviors that are a result of your past experiences and tell yourself that those memories do not need to define you. For example, if a person has experienced neglect from their parents as a child it might find it difficult to be emotionally available in their future relationships. Seek therapy if you have to. But for those who don’t have the time or the resources for therapy, be your own therapist. But I do understand that sometimes our issues are too severe and we are not always equipped to deal with them alone and in that case consider seeking professional help as soon as you can.
3. Make a list of habits you want to create and start ticking the box off one at a time
Whether you wanted to start doing yoga or going for that 20 min run every morning or start a bullet journal, now is the perfect time to begin. Create a list of all the habits you want to incorporate in your life to become healthier, productive, or mindful. Don’t start with 10 new habits at once as that strategy has proven to fail for most people. Instead pick up one or two habits at a time. Once you’ve mastered those, pick up another one from your list.
4. Create a morning routine or a nighttime routine
Create a routine for the parts of your day you tend to feel the most alone. Make sure your routine is packed with things that you enjoy or make you feel productive or relaxed and comfortable. If it is a morning routine, take the time to savor your morning coffee by your window, clear your brain by writing morning pages or check out your Pinterest board. If it is a nighttime routine, take a warm bath with some scented candles, read a book. Do whatever makes you feel loved and cherished and do it for you. You’ll find you can offer yourself most of the love and care you seek from others.
5. Take an online class
We live in the most amazing time of history. Whether you are someone who is looking for a new passion, trying to find some ways to make some extra money, or looking to add something to your CV this solitude might be the perfect opportunity to do it.
6. Write a Book
I’ve contemplated whether to include this one on the list. It’s because I know writing is not inclusive to everyone. Not everyone finds joy in writing and that’s okay. But for those who have carried an idea in their heads, yet couldn’t bring it to life because you had to give all your free time to your family or friends, this is the perfect time.
It could be a fiction, a self-help book, or a skill you have and want to share. It could be anything. Just give it a try.
7. Build a side hustle
Let’s be real, if you were in a position where you could just go out and make new friends, you wouldn’t be here reading this post. So the alternate solution is to keep your mind occupied so the feeling of loneliness won’t have the chance to seep into your head. And building a side hustle is the perfect way to do it. Besides earning some extra bucks you might be introduced to a new community of incredible people.
So, I’m curious are you someone who finds it more comfortable being alone? Or do you feel you are most alive when you are surrounded by people? Share in the comments below.
About The Author
I’m Zarnaz. I’m a self help junkie, caffeine addict, writer, engineer and I’m extremely passionate about the science of people. I want to know what inspires you, motivates you, drives you to make better choices and ultimately, how to help you reach your full potential. This is a blog dedicated to that cause.