You don’t need to be physically alone to feel lonely. You can be at a party or with a group of friends and still feel isolated. Loneliness does not reflect how many friends you have, it’s how connected you feel.
Loneliness isn’t about being physically lonely, it’s a state of mind.
I spend a lot of time alone. I live alone, I work from home, and I am not in a relationship. Yet, I rarely feel lonely.
Here are some tips on how to feel less isolated.
Be kind to yourself
When was the last time you did something for yourself? Making a bath instead of a quick shower, or making your favorite tea, and reading a good book?
We are often harsh on ourselves but kind to others. We forget to take care of ourselves and our mental health.
If you are feeling lonely, a good thing you can do is spend some time doing something just for yourself. Create a list of things that make you happy, and go for it. Enjoy your hobby, go for a walk, or watch your favorite show.
Leave some time just for yourself, and stop thinking about work or other stressful things. Learn how to relax or do some meditation.
When you learn how to make friends with yourself, you will feel less lonely around others.
Spread some love
Spreading love and showing compassion make others feel better, but it can make you feel better too.
Search for organizations where you can join. Donate to a charity or help older people. You can donate food for abandoned pets and probably think of adopting a pet.
Caring for an animal can help make you feel needed, wanted, and less isolated. Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
When you help others, you are helping yourself too.
Find your tribe
Find people with whom you connect, people who share the same interests as you. It’s human nature to search for belonging.
You can do it online or go out and search for events that interest you. Go to a poetry reading or an exhibition, join a runners club, book club, or whatever you like.
But once you find it, don’t give up. If you’ve found a club that you enjoy, try to attend regularly. Don’t give up the first week because you feel uncomfortable. It’s normal to feel shy and weird when you step out of your comfort zone. But be patient, and eventually, you will not only find a tribe but a friend there.
Accept ‘good enough’
Don’t search for perfectionism, there is no such thing as perfectionism. There is no ‘perfect’ day, ‘perfect’ thing to do, or ‘perfect’ friend.
Instead, learn to be happy with ‘good enough.’
Philosopher and author of ‘A Philosophy of Loneliness,’ Lars Svendsen, argues that people with chronic loneliness may likely be social perfectionists. They place impossible demands on friendship and love. They search for a ‘perfect’ partner or a ‘perfect friend.’ And that’s why they always feel lonely, they search for the impossible.
Accept that people have flaws. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ person. Stop daydreaming, go out, and have fun.
Not every event has to be amazing, neither every person be perfect, but you can still have a great time. Don’t take life too seriously!