It’s that time of year when things tend to slow down. We might find ourselves reflecting on the gains and losses of the year. For some of us, this time of reflection serves as a reminder that we do not always have other people to spend time with. Personally, I tend to find myself fighting feelings of loneliness.
Loneliness is a nasty little beast that works diligently to convince the mind that we are the only person in the world. These feelings have a way of creeping up on you at the right/wrong time. It can be and is one of the toughest demons for some of us to face.
Often the second series of emotions after I have been triggered, thoughts of loneliness seem to rob me of my remaining mental energy. Honestly, it can be rough when these thoughts arise. That is why it becomes vital that I have a plan in place to help me navigate.
As with every aspect of my wellness journey, I will share with you how I manage this. Remember, these tips are not exhaustive. Some may be a good fit for you and some may not be. Either way, utilize what works best for you. In other words, take what you need and leave the rest.
1) Schedule Self-Date Nights. When you are feeling lonely, it can become easy to look at alone time as something negative. We often find ourselves unwilling to leave the house. However, this is a prime moment to change your thoughts surrounding spending time alone. Take a trip to your favorite store. Visit a local museum. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or coffee at a nice little shop. Try to incorporate things in your life that will allow you to visualize being by yourself as something positive.
2) Connect with People of Similar Interests. Some of my thoughts of loneliness stem from feeling disconnected from the people around me. I am always searching for “my people.” If you experience this, then finding folks with similar interests and spending time with them may help. For instance, I am a Reiki Practitioner. Participating in events such as a once-a-month call with other practitioners assists me in establishing my place in a community.
Whatever you do does not have to be done daily. A once a week or once a month activities with others is a great starting point to lessen feelings of loneliness. It also serves as a point of connection to engage with new people.
3) Create a Support Wall. Three years ago, I relocated from the South to the East Coast. I was separated from my friends and family. As time passed, I drifted in and out of depressive episodes. After a more recent episode, I decided that I needed a way to feel connected to the people who cared about me. So I made a support wall.
Follow these instructions to do the same.
Text every person who has a level of meaning in your life and state the following: “I want to cover my wall with positive messages. Could you please tell me two or three things that you like about me?” Then visit any store and grab tape, markers (crayons/pencil colors), and poster boards or easel pads. When home, create a soothing environment with music, incense, candles, and the right lighting.
Once you receive the messages, sit down and write each one out on board/paper. Decorate each board or frame them. When you are finished, hang them in a place where you will see them often. Whenever feelings of loneliness arise, visit the support wall and read the positive thoughts from those who know you best. Take time to connect with them.
My support wall serves as a major line of defense against thoughts of loneliness. Reading affirming messages of others on a rough day rejuvenates my spirit.
In spite of this I realize, that at times feelings of loneliness are not the easiest thing to manage. It can be difficult to move beyond these thoughts when they come into play.
However, it is not impossible.
It may take time to figure out what works best for you and that’s okay. Take your time in learning what does and does not fit. As always you are worth every minute. Continue to find ways to remind yourself that you are not alone.