Overcoming loneliness.

Most people feel lonely at some point in their lives. Whether you’ve just moved to a new town and you haven’t really made any friends yet, or you’re just not getting as much time with your loved ones as you used to, loneliness can be a bitter pill to swallow. It can leave you feeling empty, blue and starved for affection. There are plenty of ways to overcome those feelings of loneliness, and learn to enjoy keeping yourself company.

Take yourself on a date.

Rather than moping at home when you don’t have anyone to go out with, take the opportunity to go on your dream date… with yourself. Get dressed up and head out for the day. Take yourself to a restaurant that you’ve never visited, see a movie you’ve been dying to see and buy yourself a little present. Although it might seem a bit daunting to do these things all on your own, eventually, you’ll find going out by yourself can be quite addictive. You can go to all the shops you want to shop in, and not feel guilty about lingering in a shoe store for an hour.  You can see the movie you want to see and scoff all the popcorn. It’s brilliant.

Make the most of ‘me’ time.

Learn to love your own company. Some people despise being on their own, because they seem to think that it means that they’re boring, or that they’ve got nothing better to do than hang out by themselves. If you feel this way, it’s time to break out of that mindset. Make a few slight changes to your routine to change your mundane solo activities into something special. Rather than just eating takeaway in front of the telly, dish your food up on your best china, and pour a glass of wine for yourself. If you’re watching a DVD, pull on your comfiest PJs, wrap a soft blanket around you and watch your film by candlelight. A few simple twists can make even the most boring activities seem luxurious. With time, you’ll begin to long for your alone time.

Learn to love yourself.

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Perhaps part of the reason that you don’t enjoy being on your own is that you have a less-than-brilliant relationship with yourself. If that’s the case, then this is something that you need to work on. Your relationship with yourself is probably the most important relationship, because it’s the only one that’s guaranteed to last a lifetime. It makes sense to nurture your relationship with yourself and learn to accept yourself for who you are. Make a list of ten things that you love about yourself, and ten reasons that you’re great company. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and be kind to yourself.

Take a class.

If you’re feeling blue because you don’t really have any friends close-by to spend time with, then it’s a good idea to make some new chums. The only way you’re going to meet new people is by putting yourself out there in the world. One of the best ways to do this is to take a class. Choose something that you’ve always wanted to learn, and find out whether there’s a class or club that you can join in your area. Book clubs, dance classes, debate clubs, discussion groups, cooking classes or craft circles are all great places to meet new people. Plus, you have the added bonus of knowing that you have at least one thing in common with your new friends.

Express yourself.

When I’m feeling down, I always feel better if I let those feelings out in a creative way. As I writer, I prefer to put my feelings down on paper. I keep a journal for this purpose. You might like to journal or blog about your experiences. If writing’s not your thing, try expressing yourself through art, music or interpretive dance. Whatever floats your boat.

Reconnect

Even though you might feel as though you’re all alone in the world, you really aren’t. Chances are there are loads of people who love you and think you’re great. Try to think of who these people are and reach out to them. You don’t have to tell them that you’re feeling lonely, just call them up and chat for a little while. If you’re spending a lot of time on your own because your friends are busy or preoccupied, take the time to seek out friends that you’ve lost touch with. Make time to meet with them and re-kindle your relationship.

If you’re feeling lonely, you should watch this video, called How to Be Alone. It is just so lovely, and it always makes me feel better when I feel as though I’m alone in the world.

Have you ever felt lonely? What are your tips for overcoming loneliness?

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