Everyone feels lonely from time to time. It’s natural. We’re a social species, so we’re hardwired to want the company of other humans. The modern world can be a very lonely place. Loneliness is on the increase, and there are lots of people out there who regularly feel alone.
If you’re feeling lonely, the best thing to do is to seek out the company of someone with whom you have a connection. This isn’t always possible, though. Other people are busy, or you may be the solitary type. That’s ok – there’s nothing wrong with either of those things. But, if loneliness is becoming a problem for you, here are some tips which can help you to find your tribe:
Take up a hobby
Hobby groups are brilliant places to find like-minded people. Whether your thing is amateur dramatics, a book group, gardening, arts and crafts, or sports, there’s a club out there tailored towards your interests. You could even start your own group! If you’re not the hobby club type, honing a skill at something is still a good way to connect with a community. Online hobby forums can bring about surprisingly strong friendships, or you may find that your new skill brings opportunities with it. Whatever you’re into, try taking it up in a meaningful way.
Sometimes we become lonely because we’re burned out or too tired to socialise. We may also isolate ourselves if we’re lacking in self-esteem. Self-care is crucial for combating loneliness. It gives us the energy we need to maintain relationships, as well as helping us to feel better about ourselves. The latter is important because many people with low self-esteem shy away from socialising, believing that they have nothing to offer in social situations. If you can develop a good relationship with yourself, good relationships with others will follow. Check out our self-care tips [LINK] to get yourself started.
Loneliness can be enhanced by rumination. The more you think about how lonely you are, the worse you’ll feel. While it’s good to acknowledge that you’re feeling lonely, it’s important not to wallow in that feeling. Mindfulness exercises, going for a brisk walk or getting stuck into something you enjoy can help to cut out rumination.
Every community has some kind of volunteer-run scheme going on. Charity shops, eco-drives, memory cafes...they all require the time and good will of volunteers. Volunteer-run organisations are usually full of friendly people who are delighted to get to know new members. Have a scout around and see what you could help out with in your local area.
Loneliness is a big problem in modern society. Even if you’re not lonely, perhaps you could help by giving some of your time to help out others who are. Increasingly, things like loneliness cafes are opening across the country. Could you get involved with something like this in your area?