We all long to feel loved and accepted; it is hard-wired in us. Relationships give us the wonderful experience of connection and companionship. Without relationships, we tend to feel lonely and isolated. It is hard to get used to doing things alone after being in a relationship. So how does one overcome loneliness while being single? There are plenty of single people out there that have no intention of dating, simply because they love being single. If you are single and experiencing loneliness, here are ten ways to overcome it and live your fullest life.
1. Get to Know Yourself Better
Being single allows you to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “If you enjoy your own company, you’ll never be alone.” The relationship you have with yourself is crucial for self-esteem and well being. You can start to learn about yourself by journaling. Keeping a journal gives you insight into yourself, your emotions, likes, dislikes, and more. It is a healthy activity that is refreshing and helps your overall well-being.
2. Nurture Your Friendships
The best way to conquer loneliness is by connecting with other people. Take time to nurture friendships or cultivate new ones. Friendships are special relationships that give you the socialization you need without worrying about the complexities that dating has. Surrounding yourself with people who are also single is comforting. Third-wheeling with a couple may emphasize your loneliness and make you hyper-aware of being single. Being lonely doesn’t feel as bad when a friend is experiencing the same thing.
3. Pick Up a Hobby
Hobbies are great for expanding knowledge or sparking creativity. Picking up a new hobby can open doors for meeting new people and opportunities. Activities like painting, rock-climbing, knitting, cooking, traveling, or playing an instrument are all beneficial in combating loneliness.
4. Get Plugged into Community
When one is spiraling into loneliness, the rest of the world can seem very far away. It may be tempting to hunker away in your house and shut out anyone and everyone. For mental, physical, and spiritual health, it is critical to have people that can check-in on you. If you are single and your family lives far away, the community is a great place to begin making connections. Participating in your community can look like volunteering for an animal shelter or salvation army, setting up a fundraiser, signing up for a race, or contributing to city meetings.
5. Delight in Your Freedom
Relationships can be mentally “expensive.” Caring for someone else means often putting their needs above your own and going out of your way to do things for them. Relationships can be emotionally draining. There are fights and jealousy, but you don’t have to deal with any of that drama if you are single. You have the freedom to do as you please without worrying about a significant other’s approval.
6. Plan and Organize
Planning and organizing are strategies that distract one from feeling lonely and replace that feeling with accomplishment; this could be planning a vacation, a concert, or visiting a friend. Cleaning, while sometimes tedious, can also bring enormous relief. Decluttering the house can feel as though you have decluttered your mind.
7. Talk to Strangers
In a pandemic, we can still flex our social muscles. Whether at the grocery store or t the gym, make an effort to talk to the strangers around you. Maybe they are experiencing loneliness as well, and a simple “hello” could change their whole day. Connections and friendships are waiting to be made with every person you come in contact with.
8. Understand What You Are Feeling
Loneliness may feel as though you are underwater and everyone around you is breathing. It is overwhelming, and although it feels as though it will last forever, it won’t. Keep track of your thoughts - are you always putting yourself down or devaluing how you feel? Redirect those thoughts and replace them with self-validation. It is okay to feel lonely, but it is not okay to internalize negative feelings and apply them to yourself. There are brighter days ahead, and it is crucial to keep that in focus.
9. Take a Break From Social Media
When you spend copious amounts of time on social media, it can breed anxiety, depression, and feelings of worthlessness. Viewing engagement pictures on social platforms is the last thing you want to see. People are presenting false perceptions of themselves, and it seems impossible to live up to. Instead of scrolling aimlessly through social media, give yourself a break. Allow a designated amount of time per day for social media, and then take a step back.
10. Take Care of Something
Put energy towards taking care of something will alleviate feelings of loneliness. Be that a pet or a plant, the responsibility of maintaining life is inspiring and motivating. Pets are also great emotional comforters and cuddle buddies.
Overcoming loneliness while being single requires consistent effort. Loneliness seems to be an epidemic in the current state of the world. We are socially isolated with an ongoing pandemic, and our mental health is suffering. Being single is difficult because meeting new people has been postponed. Struggling with loneliness can be unbearable and seems as if it will never end. If you are experiencing a low season or unmanageable emotions, please reach out for help. At SokyaHealth, we are happy to meet and discuss personalized treatment programs for you. SokyaHealth is a unique, multidisciplinary, private psychiatric and mental health practice. Our goal is to help each person achieve their potential and succeed in today's challenging global environment. We provide comprehensive mental health services for Southern California, Oregon, and Alaska. To schedule a free consultation with SokyaHealth, contact us today at 866-932-1767. You can start your journey to wellness today.