5 Ways to Cope With Loneliness
We all experience feelings of loneliness from time to time. However, it’s safe to say that this year – thanks to COVID-19 – feelings of isolation have increased. In fact, new data shows that the most widely reported source of stress during the coronavirus crisis is loneliness.
While feeling lonely is a normal reaction to being disconnected from others, whether emotionally, physically, or both – that doesn’t mean it’s an easy emotion to cope with. Loneliness can also be a trigger for other mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Learning how to deal with these feelings is a crucial skill that will help to improve the quality of your life.
To help you manage this emotion, here are some ways to cope with feelings of loneliness when you get hit by the blues:
- Take pleasure in the simple things
While the rules are still quite strict around socialising with others, there are plenty of ways to keep busy and distracted while at home. You could engage in activities such as crafts, reading, painting, gardening, organising, cooking and baking. It could be as simple as going for a daily walk or run. Make a list of the things you enjoy or would like to try out so that when you’re low on emotional energy, you can choose one activity to engage in. Try to take things one day at a time and go with the flow.
- Stay connected
Social relationships help us to maintain good mental health. We are social species, so it’s essential to keep some level of contact with our family and friends. Doing so can be as simple as texting or phoning a loved one for a catch-up. You could try using video technology to spend some quality time with friends or to check in with a family member. You could even organise online drinks with a neighbour, join an online book club or start an online class.
- Look after yourself
During this time, it can be tempting to oversleep and stay in our PJ’s for longer than usual. But looking after yourself by practising simple self-care routines such as washing your hair regularly and going to bed at a reasonable time can go a long way towards helping you feel more positive and mentally resilient. Exercise is another excellent way to care for yourself. Even during these restrictive times, you could organise to go for a long walk with a close friend.
- Know that you are not alone in your loneliness
While it may sound ironic, feeling lonely is actually a shared experience – especially right now. There can be solace found in knowing that others are in the same situation as you are. It can help to provide a sense of normality and give you the ability to make sense of what’s happening.
Loneliness is more common than we realise – it’s just that many of us don’t share these feelings with others. But, there is no reason to be ashamed of feeling this way. Talk to people about your experience, and you are more likely to feel understood and supported by others.
- See a therapist
If your feelings of loneliness are not passing and are increasing, it’s a good idea to talk to a mental health professional – and even more so if you feel any symptoms of depression, such as losing enjoyment in the activities you once loved.
Certain types of therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), can be applied to help change your thoughts, as well as your actions, and prevent or reduce any feelings of loneliness. Even just talking regularly with your therapist can help you feel less alone.
If you’d like to speak to someone to help you improve your life and get back to feeling your best, contact Positive Mind Works today here. We have a team of friendly and caring psychologists who can guide and support you during this difficult time.
Not sure if therapy is for you? Why not try it out and schedule an initial, no-obligation 20-minute appointment with one of our online psychologists?click here to book your initial 20-minute consultation today