What to do when you are feeling lonely
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
Feeling lonely? Well step right up. Ironically, you are not alone.
We all feel lonely sometimes. Yep,
- that kid at school who always gets picked first for the team, every team, even when that sport is your thing.
- your colleague who only has to mutter some sarcastic inanity for everyone to crack up. “Nick? Yeah I know Nick. He is such a funny guy.”
- that girl in your posse who gets invited to every single birthday party, sleep over and dinner out. No matter what she does. No matter how much you try and get your hair as swishy as hers.
- You seriously smart neighbour who stares oddly at you while you laugh over some brilliantly witty observation, then walks back to his house to read his newspaper. Or his encyclopaedia. Or the whole internet.
All of them feel lonely, sometimes.
You know, that swishy, grey, heavy feeling that drips in your heart when something makes you realise “I don’t got nobody today.”
Let us consult the lovely Ms M Webster for a definition of loneliness.
being without company
cut off from others
not frequented by human beings
sad from being alone : lonesome
producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation
What a picnic loneliness is.
**I am trying to be the funny sarcastic guy, Nick. You know from the office?
At its core loneliness is caused by a discrepancy between your desired amount of social interaction, and your actual social engagement. So what you want in terms of social connection, and what you have got, do not add up.
The first thing to do is to accept that we all feeling lonely sometimes.
“But what else can we do, Nick, when we are feeling lonely?” I hear you ask.
Well here are my top tips.
- Lean into it, accept it, learn from it, understand where it came from.
- Try and make some new friends. I have already written a couple of other posts on how to do this. Click here or here to read them.
- Rekindle an old relationship. Remember that kid from school who used to eat mud pies with you? Track ’em down, you had sooo much in common. Remember that girl you met on holidays last year? She’s probably still waiting for you to call.
- Go be lonely near someone else. It might help. What I mean by this is; attend a book launch, buy tickets to the football, try learning karate, eat your breakfast at a cafe, read your book at the library. What I don’t mean by this is: stand weirdly close to that good looking guy on the tram.
- Play with a pet. You might have to borrow someone else’s. Try a zoo? Stalk a duck. Make doe eyes at a doe. Get foxy with a fox. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Pat that pet if possible.
- Think back to when you did have friends, just to prove to yourself that you can do it! “Ah, they were the days! Lying in my cot at day care next to that other baby.” Good times people, good times.
- Read a book or try listening to music. Other lonely people love to write about how they are feeling (cough**). Someone somewhere has definitely crooned, or scribed, a loneliness just like yours. Conversely, happy people with friends dripping off them love to sing and write too.
All by myse-e-elf. Don’t wanna be, all by my-e-ey self.
For some super soppy loneliness songs look here.
Most of all though, if you are feeling lonely, hang in there and take baby steps toward change.
I am pretty convinced that loneliness comes in waves.
- Little tiny waves will lap at your ankles when you enter a new stage of life.
- Mid sized rolling waves will swirl and tug at you when a friend moves away or you stop or start a new thing.
- Giant sized, Aussie surf, dumping waves will push you over when you lose someone you love, or more to a new place and farewell a special face.
The good news is, no matter what the size of the wave, you can nearly always just get back up and keep frolicking in the water.
Although if your loneliness wave is too big, you might need to ask a professional for help. And that’s Ok too.
Also don’t forget to sometimes keep an eye out for the people around you who may also be feeling lonely.
Pop on that red and yellow friend-y life saver cap, and get out there and do a Baywatch style friendship rescue occasionally.
You want to go for a coffee with us?
It might even help to ease your own loneliness.
So there are my top tips to help if you are feeling lonely.
If none of that works, just try looking at these cute animals. They will cheer anyone up.
Dani is a food and lifestyle blogger from Melbourne. She loves to write about food, friends and fun.