10 Easy Ways to Beat Loneliness

Loneliness happens. Here’s how you can show it the door.

One of the biggest issues my coaching clients tell me they face is loneliness. That’s understandable when we live in a society that views being alone as being lonely, and we’ve come to accept this belief. There’s a way to battle loneliness, though, and it’s not by jumping on the first romantic opportunity that comes your way. In fact, that’s a recipe for even greater loneliness along with a host of other woes. The way you fix loneliness is by using your head. Your thoughts make up everything about who you are. If you’re sad, it’s due to your thoughts. If you’re happy, that’s also due to your thoughts. Your thoughts about yourself determine how you feel about yourself. Your feelings about yourself determine what actions you take in life and how you interact with the world. And your actions determine how your life actually plays out. It all starts with your thoughts and that’s why it’s super important to focus on them when addressing any emotional issue like loneliness. If you think you’re lonely, then you are. Common sense then would dictate that all you have to do is stop thinking you’re lonely and you won’t be lonely anymore. That’s what I help my clients do, but it’s a process. Thankfully, there are practical things you can do to help yourself shake off loneliness and I’m going to share my 10 easiest with you right now.

10 Easy Ways

  1. Help someone else/volunteer. You’ve seen the numerous studies that show that doing things for others gives you a boost of happy juice. Where you may be getting stuck is on what to do and/or whom to do it for. It could be as easy as helping a family member, friend or neighbor with their yard work or cleaning out their garage. Or it could be a more involved or regularly scheduled activity where you’re actually volunteering for an organization that needs you. Think about your family, friends and neighbors, and how you might be able to help them out. Think about what causes interest you or light a fire under you, and check out their volunteer opportunities. I’ve been volunteering for the past 25 years and it’s never made me feel bad!
  2. Stay off social media. Connect or reconnect 1:1 instead. We’ve all fallen down the social media rabbit hole before. You start innocently scrolling because you’re bored and the next thing you know an hour has gone by, leaving you feeling more alone because everyone else’s life looks so full and great. Why not connect with someone one-on-one instead. Call or text your bff. Call or text someone you haven’t been in contact with for a while (not an ex!). Use social media in a positive way by scrolling through your Facebook friends and messaging someone you haven’t touched base with in a while. Likely, people are looking for true interpersonal connection just as much as you are.
  3. Pick up an old hobby or start a new one. Is that knitting you started three years ago just lying in the corner begging to be finished? Or are you sick of knitting and want to try something new? Stroll around your local craft store or hobby shop and see what catches your eye. There’s so much! Or dig out those art supplies and decide you’re finally going to paint that portrait of your dog. Having interests that don’t involve work or other people is part of the richness that makes you you.
  4. Adopt a pet. Granted this one isn’t something you just go out and do. There’s thought and planning that goes into it, but pets can add SO much to your life. They bring a sense of purpose and responsibility, and can be even better companions than people! It’s hard to feel lonely when your dog is tugging on your pants to go for a walk or your cat is curled up in your lap purring. I honestly don’t know how single people live without pets. Mine literally saved my life once.
  5. Get outside. There’s something about being outside that makes you feel so much better. The sun on your face? The wind in your hair? The fresh air? The communing with nature? Probably all of the above. Whatever it is, it gives you a boost of serotonin and that’s exactly what you need when you’re feeling lonely. Go for a walk or sit under a tree and watch the world go by. It can help you think clearly and put things in perspective for yourself.
  6. Exercise, even just for fun. Sometimes we think of exercise as being grueling and not much fun, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re working out to get/stay in shape, that’s great as it’ll give you a much-needed endorphin boost, but it doesn’t have to be as regimented as all that. Go for a slow stroll or an easy hike. Ride your bike to the store. Do something that feels more like fun than a chore, such as stand-up paddleboarding or even flying a kite. Getting your body moving is one of the best ways to battle emotional challenges of all kinds.
  7. Join a club, group or sports league. There are all kinds of clubs out there, from book clubs to gardening clubs. There are all kinds of groups, from Meetup groups to organizationally-sponsored groups. And there are all kinds of sports leagues, from volleyball to golf. Find them online or at local community centers, libraries or sports outfitters. Pick something that strikes your fancy and go for it. The bonus is that you’ll likely end up making friends with similar interests whom you do things with outside of the group.
  8. Plant a garden. You don’t need a huge yard to do this, nor do you need a lot of skill. A balcony or patio and few pots will do the trick. If you have no clue where to start, there are many online resources and books at the library. You can grow herbs to use in cooking, veggies to eat, cutting flowers for indoor bouquets, or just something pretty for you to look at every day. Something about planting a seed or a seedling, and watching it grow and thrive while you tend to it gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  9. Go to the movies. Or to a lecture, seminar or presentation. You don’t have to be worried about being alone because there will be plenty of others who are by themselves, too. At the movies it’ll be dark, so who cares? And… popcorn! You’ll be entertained for an hour or two, maybe even learn some things, and you’ll have gotten out of the house and done something.
  10. Practice spending time alone. You know that old adage, “practice makes perfect.” It’s true of being alone and not feeling lonely, too. When I was first single I hated living alone and hated doing things by myself, too, even going to the grocery store. But I was forced into it and the more I did it, the less I minded it. Eventually, I started to enjoy living alone and doing things by myself. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not that I don’t still enjoy doing things with others, but I enjoy most things on my own just as much. Another old adage, “if I can do it, so can you!”

Feeling inspired?

I hope so! Choose one of the 10 easy ways to beat loneliness above right now and give it a shot. If it doesn’t suit, choose another and another until you find all the things that make you happy. Remember that loneliness is a state of mind, fill your life with as many things that bring you joy as you can, and there will be no more time for loneliness.

Leslie Kaz, coach for single women

I help single women get from where they are to where they want to be by overcoming their sadness and starting to live their best lives through mindset and lifestyle changes. Contact me to learn how it’s possible to live a single, blissful life.

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