We have all felt the pain of loneliness at some point but, when feeling sad and alone feels overwhelming, it can be difficult to cope. You may begin to lose hope for the future, find it difficult to enjoy any part of your life or even worry that you’ll feel like this forever. But there are things you can do that might help when you feel lonely.
Look around you now
There may be possibilities in your life right now that could offer some comfort – a pet, a favourite book or film, a TV or radio programme or even just sitting outside for a while reconnecting with nature. Experiment and see what helps you feel better. It could be something active or creative like a colouring book, baking or doing a jigsaw puzzle. Something that is fun and soothing for you can ease the pain of loneliness and, with time, the positive energy that those activities produce may spill over into other areas of your life.
Connect with a friend
If you have someone that is always supportive or who makes you smile, give them a call, connect with them on social media or write them a letter or email. This applies as much to family members and friends you’ve known for years (and perhaps lost touch with) as it does to new people in your life. Being around positive, upbeat people can lift your spirits but it can be extremely hard to reach out to others when you’re feeling lonely so you may resist doing this at first. However, even simply thinking about it or planning what you might do can be therapeutic.
Help someone in need
Helping other people can ease loneliness in ourselves by making us feel more useful and connected. Doing things for others and reaching out to other people who need us can boost our own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of those around us. Small acts of kindness – whether you are helping an elderly neighbour, offering support and advice on a social media site or even just holding open a door for someone – can have a positive effect on how we see ourselves and others.
Loneliness can affect us all at certain times in our lives, regardless of our age or circumstances. Moving to a new area, losing a loved one or starting a new course at college are all key points when people can feel alone or isolated.
So, if you are feeling lonely – be patient with yourself. Remind yourself that emotions are impermanent, that every day is a new day and may bring the beginning of a brighter future. This article from The Guardian from January 2018 looks at people who have suffered extreme isolation and feelings of sadness and have discovered ways of breaking free.
On route therapy and wellbeing centre is committed to helping people look after their mental health and wellbeing through a range of therapies and activities. You can find full details about the different forms of counselling, therapies and activities we offer on our website – alternatively pop into our wellbeing centre and café at 46 South Ealing Road, Ealing, London W5 4QA or get in touch on 0203 761 2964. We look forward to seeing you soon!