Loneliness is personal, and people experience it in their lives. Recognize that it is a human feeling and not to be used as a judgment about you as a person.
There is a difference between being physically alone and feeling lonely. Being alone can be good, healthy, productive, and just what we need. Feeling lonely can feel troublesome, sad, not worthy, and not feeling good about ourselves.
Loneliness is not a topic most people want to bring out. There is a lot of judgment attached to this feeling – fear of how others will see us because we are lonely.
It can be fleeing or pervasive depending on what challenges or difficulties you are experiencing. Take the time to listen to what your heart tells you about your loneliness.
Whatever the reason or the consistency of the experience, we all must deal with it in our lives. How we handle it makes a difference in our emotional well-being.
For many people, during the pandemic, loneliness has been a major reaction to it for the last two years. The forced isolation to keep us physically safe has impacted our emotions and physical well-being.
How do you help yourself when you are feeling lonely?
Have your thoughts help you
It’s essential to acknowledge your feelings of loneliness. Don’t judge yourself that you are not worthy; instead, sit with the feeling – “I am feeling lonely.”
When you listen to yourself, without judgment, you come closer to understanding better what is causing your loneliness. Keep listening to what your loneliness is telling you, and you will be able to find ways to move through it. Reduce the power it has over you.
Sometimes the feelings are powerful, and sitting alone with them is scary. Reach out to friends, family, or professionals to guide you safely towards self-care.
Types of loneliness
When you are physically alone
If you are physically alone, you may enjoy your time or wish to connect with others. Here are some possibilities to move you through your loneliness from alone to connection:
- Reach out to others – call family & friends, and share if you feel lonely or talk and connect.
- Schedule an outing with another person
- Or have a date with yourself – go to the movie, museum, bookstore, park, or any other place that makes you smile and feel good. I have a friend who wanders around nature, taking beautiful pictures of what she experiences in her journey.
- Volunteer – this action reduces loneliness as you connect with others and do good.
- Get a pet – someone to take care of relieves you of thinking about being alone.
- Go on Meetup to meet others with a personal interest. Some groups meditate, go to movies together, have discussion groups, and many other groups.
- Take a class
Keep in mind that you can explore so many possibilities that get you out of the house and connect you with others.
Lonely when you are with others
For me, this is more challenging loneliness to handle. I’m not alone, yet I am because I’m not connecting with the people. Maybe I don’t enjoy them as much, or I’m having difficulty being in a group setting.
For me, groups create more loneliness as there is too much stimulation, and I get lost in the group’s energy. However, I have a book club where I enjoy connecting with others as they share their thoughts. I’m also a member of a women’s group with women I’ve known most of my adult life, and their presence continues to add to my well-being. So, it depends, and I need to listen to myself.
Having time with others in a 1:1 situation fuels my well-being better for me. I love the intensity of sharing and listening to others.
Have you ever just gone out with someone to not be alone and felt lonely because there was no connection?
It’s about listening to yourself and understanding what works best for you.
When loneliness is a big emotion
There is no simple solution to do to reduce one’s loneliness. Loneliness can be powerful and elicit powerful emotions, emotions that can be challenging to handle on our own. If you are in such turmoil, reach out and get professional help. Think about taking care of yourself, no judgments, just an awareness that you need support to move through the emotions. Be compassionate and kind to yourself.
How have you handled your loneliness? Is there something you do that helps you move into the loneliness and out on the other side? Do you take time to listen to yourself or keep busy, so you don’t have to deal with it?
Women’s Group Topics
Often, we think something is wrong with us if we feel lonely. We are not lovable and do not necessarily see that it is a human feeling that most people feel throughout their lives.
Discuss loneliness, bring it out in the open, and reduce the power it has over us.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
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