Overcoming Loneliness – 10 Ways

overcoming loneliness

Being alone is synonymous with modern life. The break up of families, young ones moving away for work, education, or by choice has created a scenario where isolation is commonplace.

Overcoming loneliness is a major problem even as the world is being connected via technology. It is a painful feeling where an individual assumes himself to have been left out.

Being busy Monday – Friday leaves little time for self and many let life pass by without relationships and only when they are older or during holidays do they feel the need for loneliness creep up.

Often there comes a time in life when even with a loving family one can be all alone and lonely. Overcoming Loneliness is crucial as this can break your heart.

A friend—a spinster—lived all alone from age 30 to 85 plus. She never let the emptiness of her home get to her, she filled her life with activities—theater, meeting friends, volunteering at a sanitarium, and more. She was so full of life that people were drawn to her by her very spirit.

I think being lonely is not about being alone but a state of mind. Overcoming loneliness—even during festive seasons—is possible by determination and careful planning.

1. Travel

Find out what you like to do: lounge by the seaside or explore new lands. For long weekends and holidays, plan trips away from home. Enjoy the countryside, explore your heritage, learn about new cultures and open your mind to the beautiful world.

The internet now presents affordable options, and joining a tour group will fill your days with activities and company. Once bitten by a travel bug (provided you can afford it) the whole world will become your home.

A friend loved the “Da Vinci Code” so much that she took a tour to all sites in the book and now regularly explores areas connected with “history’s mysteries”—and funnily enough people pay her to write about her travels.

2. Follow a passion

If you like cooking or carpentry you could take up new courses like French delights or restoration of antique furniture and so on. There are so many interesting things: bird watching, growing herbs, making desserts, quilting, playing in a band, learning music or pottery, joining a museum workshop on restoration. There are opportunities galore for overcoming loneliness for anyone who chooses to get off the couch.

3. Volunteer

Many old-people’s homes, orphanages, and hospitals welcome volunteers who can visit patients, help keep sick children cheerful, read to patients, talk to groups, and just lend a hand. If deep within you is a Florence Nightingale then overcoming loneliness will be a snap as there will not be any time to brood or be depressed.

A friend of mine got many housewives together to teach spoken English and Math to children of domestic workers in their residential area. Just one poster brought at least 30 kids all eager to learn. The ladies enjoyed the hour spent and soon the group began interacting with career counseling sessions, picnics, and more.

4. Enroll in a course

Ever thought about learning something new that is not work related? Many Universities offer adult education courses that are flexible and the courses cover romance, poetry, history of weaponry, all about dinosaurs and so many other topics.

As an adult one can be overcoming loneliness while at the same time also learning without pressure—I myself have done a Masters in the Aesthetics of Art and am planning to work towards a doctorate in Art History someday soon. Who said learning is time barred—lifelong learning is what it’s about.

5. Network

Social networking sites have set the ball rolling and one can connect with many long lost family and friends online. Overcoming loneliness though may be better served if you take the connection offline however and organize a meet—touch base with people you really liked and had a lot in common with. Meetings need not be expensive—meet at a café or in a mall and rekindle interests that you felt were long gone.

6. Help family

If there are old people or young ones in your family, make the effort to spend time with them. If a friend or cousin has young kids, ask if they need a baby sitter for an hour or two—give them a breather.

More than just for overcoming loneliness though, connecting with family is also deeply satisfying and gives a sense of roots and belonging. Make the visit interesting by exchanging experiences with older people and telling stories or playing games with children.

7. Learn to dance

Richard Gere stole many hearts in the movie Let’s Dance. You could do something like that too. Get the hum-drum out of your life and fill it with fun and laughter. You don’t have to compete but could learn to dance and make new friends for sheer enjoyment.

8. Join a group

There are many who pursue similar interests. There are book clubs, movie clubs, stamp collectors, doll makers and so on. Think about it. Spending time with others who have similar interests would be a great opportunity for overcoming loneliness.

There are many who take up trekking, cycling, coaching young kids, and more. Overcoming loneliness is needed, as it can make you feel crippled. It is sad but many people suffer from the feeling of not belonging to others around them despite of being surrounded by people all day.

9. Read or write

Avid readers are never bored or alone, they immerse themselves in the books they read and become one with the many characters. Visit a book store or library and explore the world of books.

If there is a writer hidden somewhere in your being then take up writing. Write a diary, stories for children or poetry. Capture the excitement and beauty the world has to offer in words. Who knows? You may become a prize-winning author someday. A first-time writer I know let her imagination flow and her books are now bestsellers and being made into a movie.

10. Explore where you live

Most cities have a history and a popular pastime these days is city walks. You could join people and discover hidden facets of the place where you live. There are walks that map the heritage buildings, visits to homes of the rich and famous, castle tours, visits to sunken ships, and gardens with mazes. There are so many options if you are able and willing.

Conclusion for overcoming loneliness

Overcoming loneliness is not that difficult. The world is an exciting place and there is no reason why one should stay at home watching television, feeling morose.

Make the effort and rub loneliness out of your life. Overcoming loneliness is important because, like depression, it is one of the plagues of the contemporary society. Few escape it altogether. Overcoming loneliness gets you connected to everyone around you. It means escaping that feeling of being isolated even though you may be surrounded by people.


About the Author

Ahendita is an experienced writer and editor with over 30 years work experience. She has authored books, magazine articles, web content, e-books, and promotional materials.

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