The topic of loneliness has been discussed a lot in recent years, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced everyone into isolation. However, loneliness can happen at any point in one’s life. In fact, it can even occur when you’re not even alone.
In many cases, loneliness can occur when someone is entering a new or different stage of their life. Maybe they’ve just moved to a new city and don’t know anyone yet, or maybe they just went through a breakup and are living alone for the first time in a while. Maybe they are at a point in life when a lot of their friends are getting married and starting families, and they’re just not at that place yet.
If you are struggling with feelings of being alone, don’t worry. There are things that you can do to combat loneliness.
What Are Some of the Dangers of Loneliness?
When loneliness goes on for an extended period of time without being addressed, it can become a pretty powerful and dangerous emotion. In relation to loneliness, some people may experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. Their self-esteem may begin to suffer. Others may experience boredom and fall into unhealthy habits as a way to cope. In many cases, people turn to drug or alcohol misuse in order to try to fill the void they have in their life. This can lead to a serious problem and does nothing to fix the actual loneliness.
Now more than ever before, people are working remotely, which means they are not getting the socialization that they once obtained in an office environment. For some people, this change may be perfectly fine, while for others, it may be very difficult to adjust to. As humans, we are social beings. We need to be around other people at least some of the time in order to really thrive. This is why taking the steps to combat loneliness is so important.
How Can I Be OK With My Current Stage in Life?
We all go through different stages in life. Growing up, you were likely surrounded by people daily due to school and living with family. As you get older and move out on your own, this may no longer be the case. Maybe you’re living alone or working remotely and just aren’t around other people as much anymore.
Social media can be a dangerous thing. You may look at photos of your friends out with a bunch of people or with their significant others and feel like you are the only one by yourself. When feeling like this, it is important to simply remember that this is just one stage in your life. It will come and go.
With that being said, if this is a stage in which loneliness is taking away from your overall quality of life, it may be time to take some steps to fix this.
What Can I Do to Combat Loneliness?
If you’re in a position where you spend a lot of time alone due to necessity, such as remote work, there are still things that you can do to combat loneliness. During breaks or at the end of the day, be sure to reach out to family members or friends. Schedule times throughout the week for video calls to check in with people.
Also, consider your remote work environment. Is it absolutely necessary for you to work from home every day? Maybe consider switching things up and doing your work at a library or coffee shop. This way, you’re still around other people but are still in a quiet enough environment to be productive.
Maybe you are in a place in your life where you want to meet new people and introduce more socialization into your life. A great way to do that is by signing up for a club or class. Consider what you’re passionate about or what skills you’d like to learn. You could take an exercise class, an art class, or join a book club. This is a great way to meet other people who share similar interests with you.
Another great way to increase your socialization and, at the same time, make a difference in your community is by volunteering. Search online for local charities that are looking for volunteers. Maybe you’re passionate about animals and can volunteer for your local homeless shelter. Or maybe you really enjoy cooking and could help prepare meals for the homeless in your community.
Something else you may want to consider is adopting a pet. No, animals can’t talk back to you, but they do provide a sense of companionship and can really help combat loneliness. Not to mention that it would be hard to find a more loyal friend!
Everyone experiences loneliness every once in a while. But when it goes on over an extended period of time and is not addressed, it can become really dangerous. Extreme loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem. It can cause people to turn to substance misuse to cope. There are things that you can do to combat loneliness in your daily life. If you have to work from home, make sure that you take breaks and connect to family and friends. Consider joining a club or taking a class so you can meet other people with similar interests. Consider volunteer work. If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today.