4 Ways to Ease Loneliness and Feel More Connected
Loneliness comes in different ways
Feeling disconnected from the world around you can be common, especially during an unusual time like social isolation.
While it’s true that sometimes loneliness can be a result of our own choices in life, other times it can merely be a result of circumstance.
Lifeline explains that isolation and loneliness go hand in hand as they can both cause feelings of separation from others and from your environment.
There is no singular cause for loneliness, it hits many people in a range of different ways. It can come from things like living alone, grief, being single, missing friends and family, poor physical health or even an inability to participate in activities. But just remember, these situations aren’t forever.
Lifeline also says that while everyone feels lonely occasionally, extended periods of loneliness can have a detrimental effect to both physical and mental wellbeing. In fact, it can cause things like aches and pains, worsen illness, increased risk of depression, anxiety or stress, low energy, sleep and tummy issues as well as encourage feelings of concern or negativity.
So with that in mind, here are some effective ways to combat feelings of loneliness while you stay at home.
Ways to ease loneliness and feel connected
Connect with friends and family
Getting in touch with your friends and family can often make a huge difference when it comes to boosting your mood and stimulating feelings of connectedness.
According to the Black Dog Institute, it’s within human nature to seek meaningful connections. However, these connections may come in different ways.
It could be as simple as heading over to a friend’s for a cup of tea or heading for a walk around the park together. And if it is not possible to physically visit someone, there are other ways you can stay connected like over the phone or on a video call.
Become more active in your local community
Whether it’s chatting to the local cafe staff, participating in a community online forum, volunteering or supporting local businesses, there are ways to connect with the people surrounding you in your local area.
It’s important to keep in mind that during this time your neighbours may be feeling the same sense of loneliness that you are, so never underestimate the impact of a smile, hello or even conversation. You’d ultimately be helping both yourself and others around you, it’s a win win.
Find a social hobby
With so many classes, social groups and activities available these days, you’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a social hobby. Having a hobby is a great way to find like-minded people and increase your chances of forming new connections.
While some in-person options may be put on hold for the moment, others can be done online or virtually. You could sign up for an over-the-phone book club, join online language classes and participate in many other online classes available at the moment. The sky’s the limit!
Seek support if you need it
For some people, getting professional support, such as from a GP, psychologist or counsellor, is a great option to combat loneliness. They can provide personal advice and strategies to help you develop and re-build feelings of connectedness in the long term.
On the other hand, don’t be afraid to confide in the people you trust. You may be surprised how far chatting to a family member or close friend about how you feel might go.