Loneliness has become a major issue for many people as they struggle to deal with isolation and limited social interactions that come as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, this increase in loneliness is measurable. In a recent study, it was found that 65 percent of people felt more lonely during this past year than they had before.
With this uptick in loneliness, many blogs and news outlets have started posting helpful tips and guides for how to deal with the growing mental health issues so many of us face. All of these tips are very beneficial for those dealing with isolation and mental health issues, and it’s always good to promote these ideas to the people who need them.
So, in the same vein, here are five of the best tips and recommendations for combatting loneliness, with the hope that at least one of these suggestions can help you or someone that you know.
5 Ways to Feel Less Lonely
- Call a friend or family member. It may seem like a no-brainer, but when people feel especially isolated, they can find it hard to take the first step and reach out to someone else. If you feel alone, it’s a good idea to message or phone someone you trust. The conversation will help you work through issues, and this kind of connection goes a long way in mitigating the intense feeling s that come with loneliness.
- Call a helpline or reach out to an online support group. The first piece of advice may not work for everyone—maybe friends and family are unavailable, or maybe reaching out to them may feel more nerve-wracking rather than satisfying. If that’s the case, then try calling the CONTACT helpline. It puts people in touch with volunteers, who will listen to you talk through your issues without fear of judgment. There’s also 7 Cups of Tea, an online emotional support service that’s grown very popular over the past few years, and works very similarly to the CONTACT helpline.
- Join a group or a club. While it may seem difficult to get involved with new organizations in the midst of a pandemic, there are several clubs that have migrated to platforms like Zoom or Facetime to continue meeting. Using websites like Meetup can introduce you to new groups and clubs and help you get connected to other people with similar interests.
- Care for yourself. While loneliness often is a response to a lack of human connection, it can also be exacerbated by improper self-care. Taking the time out of your day to exercise, eat right, and sleep for at least eight hours all can contribute to a better mindset, and ease the feelings of negativity and isolation.
- Read a book or watch a movie. Immersing yourself in other worlds can be a quick-fix for acute feelings of loneliness. Getting lost in a narrative that someone else has built is an easy and fun way to get out of your head, and even stop yourself from wallowing in bad emotions. Just know that this particular tip can’t be a replacement for a social life, and it also shouldn’t be used as a way to ignore the mental health problems that you may face.
Two hands hold puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. While it can be hard to reach out and facilitate connections with others, the feeling of being understood and cared for is rewarding, and can help you maintain a better, healthier mindset.
Loneliness is difficult to deal with and has unfortunately become a very common side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many people feeling isolated, it’s almost comforting to know that you’re not the only one who’s felt down and alone over the past year.
If you’re struggling with feeling isolated and alone, hopefully, these tips are helpful for you. You deserve to feel good and connected to others, so make sure that if you’re feeling down, you get the help that you need in order to stay healthy and happy.
The world feels a bit more difficult these days, so it’s hard to stay positive. But with a little help from others, it’ll be much more manageable.