It is not unusual to feel alone sometimes, especially when you feel like you need to vent, and there is no one around who may understand what you are going through. When people feel lonely, it is a sign that they need to get out and be social. However, the longer you feel lonely, the harder it is to find a happy place again. Talking to a counselor is one way to stop feeling so down. Getting out and finding a group of people you have something in common with is another way to find someone to talk to when you are having a bad day. Here are some tips on what to do when you feel lonely and find someone to talk to lift your spirits.
There is statistical evidence that people today spend more time away from other people than they used to; social media can be partially to blame. Friends used to get together more regularly to catch up and share news; now, you can scroll through your friend’s Facebook feed and get a sense of what they have been doing. However, there is a good chance that they miss you too, and they are just not saying it. All around the world, people feel lonely regularly but don’t let their emotions show.
First, it is essential to know the difference between feeling lonely and being isolated. Loneliness is a physical emotion that makes you feel sad. It is often triggered by memory and often something sad that occurred in your past, even if you don’t necessarily remember what took place.
Isolation is physically being away from others. Whether you live in the country or on the outskirts of a large city, isolation is a self-created feeling. If you don’t want to be isolated, then get out where there are people!
Strike Up a Conversation with Someone You Don’t Know
It never hurts to talk to strangers in social settings. What is the worst thing that could happen? They may not talk back to you. You are, after all, sitting somewhere feeling lonely anyway. Why not try to do something that will make you feel happier? Find something to comment on or ask a question. Be sure that you don’t just ask a yes or no question. The idea is to strike up a conversation and keep the person engaged.
Talk to People Online
If you aren’t ready to venture out of the house on your own or don’t know where to go, you can always talk to people online in a support chat group. Join a community group on Facebook and strike up a conversation with others. You may find that you have similar interests as others who are also at home feeling lonely.
Perhaps after a few conversations, you can ask where a good place to hang out in and meet up; see if others will join you. You may be surprised by all the new friends you make by taking such small steps.
Get Involved with a Volunteer Organization
Every town has a variety of volunteer organizations and committees that need help. Find something that interests you and attend a meeting. There is a good chance that you will find others there who will share the same viewpoints. This can help you feel more comfortable.
If you cannot find a volunteer organization that you are passionate about, then start your own. Make a social media page and invite others to join it. When you get a few members, see if the group wants to get together for a face-to-face meeting. Before you know it, you will be someone that others want to get to know.
If you have young kids, look for a playgroup. Perhaps you have school-age children. You can join the PTO. If you don’t have kids, see if there are singles groups. You can also volunteer to help at the local soup kitchen, library, or pet rescue center. There are so many different types of groups for people of all levels of wants and needs.
Get a Pet
Animals are great at helping us feel less alone and stop feeling so blue. If you are having a bad day, a pet can typically sense it and will want to give you extra cuddles. A cute kitten or furry puppy can be your best friend and make you forget all about your troubles. Plus, if you get a dog, you can take it to your local dog park and meet others who are looking for a two-legged friend.
Reading Can Help You
Fiction is a great way to escape to another world. It sucks you into another place and time. There is nothing better than finding a great book and getting lost in it.
As a matter of fact, reading is good for you too. Adults who have low literacy capabilities have $230 billion a year in additional health care costs annually. The better the reader, the fewer medical issues you should have from a statistical point of view.
If you are an avid reader, you can join a book club—most library’s sponsor one. Not only is this a great way to talk about how the book made you feel or what you liked and disliked, but it is also an excellent way to meet other people who share similar interests.
While we don’t want you to literally never find your way home, if you have a few days, you could take a random train, plane, or automobile trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Being around strangers in a different environment can sometimes permit you to do something crazy. Sing a song to yourself while window shopping—dance around. Stop and have a drink at every bar you find (even if you are only ordering Shirley Temples). Not only will you ward off loneliness, but you can also find yourself having a fantastic time. Who knows, maybe you will find someone to dance in the streets with along the way.
As we mentioned above, dancing can be a great way to expel some energy. If you are feeling lonely, dancing can put you in a better mood. Put on some fun music, pour yourself a glass of wine, and dance around the house. Do it naked if you want. The goal is to feel comfortable. No one but you is there anyway, right? Doing silly things alone will give you a great laugh, if nothing else.
Go for a Run, Jog, or Walk
Scientifically speaking, running makes you happy. Your body releases certain chemicals when you exercise that naturally lift your mood. If you are feeling down and alone, head outdoors. If you are not athletically included, going for a casual walk outside can help you feel happier.
According to the CDC, 80% of people do not exercise enough. Listening to the birds, watching the leaves blow, or seeing kids playing in your neighborhood can cheer you up in a hurry. All of this can help you start to feel better.
Get a Camera and Start Snapping
If you feel alone and want to reconnect with the Earth, there is no better way than through photography. Taking pictures is a great hobby and makes fantastic art.
If you start getting really good, you can hold art shows and connect with prospective buyers and other photographers. Together you can work to have more shows and support each other’s craft.
Plan A Vacation
Just planning a vacation can lift your spirits. If work has been unusually hectic, or you need to get away from chaos at home for a while, planning a trip can help you immensely. For those who don’t live near relatives, finding a mutual meeting destination can be a great time too. The idea is to get away from the norm and do something different!
Determine What is the Cause of Your Loneliness
At the end of the day, you need to figure out where your feelings of loneliness can be attributed to and if there are other reasons than a lack of peers.
Loneliness can be caused by depression, sadness, a loss, or even a medical condition. While some people need to connect with other humans, others may benefit from seeking the help of in-person or online counseling.
If your loneliness is a sudden onset, it might not be from lack of interaction, and trying random things most likely won’t help. While it can’t hurt to get out of your comfort zone if you have been in a funk, it is always better to find the cause of your loneliness first, especially if you were previously an outgoing and happy person.