How to Cope with Loneliness
(A top Stressor on the Stress Shifter Survey, done 2/21)
And Social Isolation in Today's World
By Lindsay Leimbach
Today, it’s challenging to have a great social life or any social life. This was true even before Covid-19 became an issue.
In the not-so-distant past, it used to be so boring to stay at home during the evenings and the weekends that people always looked for an excuse to get out of the house. But now, between streaming services, the internet, smartphones, and video games, it’s much easier to find an excuse to stay home.
Covid-19 has only made the situation even more challenging. Now, there is a legitimate reason to avoid others in person.
While a few select people seem to thrive with minimal human contact; most people need to spend time with others to stay emotionally healthy and happy.
Luckily, there are still things you can do to help maintain your emotional health, even when your time with others is reduced.
Be productive. Just because you might be spending a lot of time alone doesn’t mean you have to sit there and be miserable. Everyone feels better when they’re productive. Some productive activities include:
● Paint the living room.
● Volunteer to help others.
● Learning a new instrument or language
● Take the dog for a walk or just walking yourself.
● And many more
Connect with others safely. Use your imagination and find a way to connect with people while making your health a priority.
● Use skype, zoom, and other options for talking “face-to-face.”
● Taking a Class on Line
● Sit outside by a fire in the fresh air and have a conversation with a friend.
View beautiful things. What makes something beautiful? It makes you feel a certain way when you look at it. With your smartphone or computer, you can view just about anything in the world. Spend some time looking at beautiful things each day, and you’ll feel better.
● Look at your old photographs.
● Go to a museum through the internet.
● Find the perfect tree in the park and really look at it.
Take up a solo hobby. There are plenty of hobbies you can do by yourself. Paint, play chess online, hike, knit, write, cooking or train your dog. A hobby is something you choose to do because it pleases you.
Get a pet. If you don’t have a pet, consider getting one. You can have a more meaningful relationship with the right pet than you can have with 99% of the people in the world. What type of animal interests you?
Maintain a high level of self-care. Loneliness and social isolation often lead to poor self-care. It’s important to continue taking good care of yourself even if you’re spending a lot of time alone. For example, a shower isn’t something that you do just for others. It’s also something that you do for yourself. Eat well and sleep well for yourself!
Be creative. Most people find they are more creative when they have time to themselves. Now is an ideal time to take advantage of your solitude. Let your creative juices flow!
● What ideas do you have?
● What do you want to create?
● What do you want to experiment with?
Reduce your stress response. Learn to understand what causes you stress. With this knowledge, you can learn to change your response to life stressors. This growth will foster a more positive and optimistic view of the present moment. Leading you to a healthier life both emotionally and physically. Learn how at StressShifter.com
Having a lot of free time alone doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There is a lot you can do to ease the discomfort of loneliness and social isolation. Technology makes it relatively easy to connect with others even if physical proximity is impossible. Feeling productive can also ease the pain of being alone.
Instead of focusing on this great challenge, try to take advantage of its unique possibilities. You can learn more about yourself and try out a few hobbies. You’re free to explore your interests without interference from others.
Just think - by developing other interests, when the time comes when you can reconnect socially; you’ll have a variety of new things to talk about.