Life Crisis: What to do when feeling lonely

Life Crisis: What to do when feeling lonely

Have you ever experienced a feeling of loneliness? I bet you did. Everyone did at least once a lifetime. It doesn’t feel nice, does it? In fact, it sucks. It makes you feel worthless. However, being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely. If you know how to approach it, it will never make you feel bad anymore.

Most of people struggle with a feeling of loneliness as they consider it as a form of punishment. They don’t notice the value which is hidden underneath. They don’t see its potential. They waste their time to complain how unfairly life has treated them instead of opening their eyes to a spectrum of possibilities it actually brings.

A survey conducted in 2018 by the Kaiser Family Foundation proved that about 22% of Americans constantly feel alone (source: Good House Keeping). People in Korea are paying to watch someone having dinner with them. Over the last 3 decades, the average number of friends in our network has decreased (source: Apa) which makes people anxious.

Being alone – should it be a reason to complain or a reason to be happy? It depends on your priorities. If you can’t live without the crowd, being alone might quickly turn in a feeling of loneliness. But if you enjoy disengaging from social life for a while, it might bring you numerous benefits. Not for nothing Jim Carey said:

Solitude is dangerous. It’s very addictive. It becomes a habit once you realize how peaceful and calm it is. It’s like you don’t want to deal with people anymore because they drain your energy.

Let’s see how to avoid a feeling of loneliness even if you’re alone.

1. Do something creative

If you feel disconnected, do something out of the box. Let your self-expression come to light. Plenty of hidden emotions wait for their turn to play a role in your life. In the daily rush, you may lose contact with a part or parts of yourself that are creative and need to be exteriorized. The person you represent most of the time is the one who’s centered at the targets and goals to achieve. It’s so absorbing that you often forget about the existence of your other nature which isn’t less important.

For me, time when I’m alone is usually the time when I write or create other content. Once I’m done, I use this time to rearrange the space around me. To clear it out from all items which don’t give me joy. When I was a kid, I’ve got plenty of time alone. That time was the most creative one in my life. I had to come up with various activities to fill out boring days. It taught me that every spare moment can be well utilized.

2. Help people in need

When there are no people around you, go to those ones who’re in need. You may not know them and they may not know you. But when a need meets a willingness to help, this is when beautiful acts happen. There’s no better feeling than the one of being needed. You quickly forget about your solitude when you realize the enormity of human misery. And when you become less self-focused. Helping eases the loneliness. You don’t have to leave your place in order to help. You can do it interactively in many ways. A supportive comment, helpful feedback, engaging discussion, appreciative email. Helping doesn’t require spectacular deeds. Do something nice for a stranger. Start a conversation with someone you don’t know. Share experience.

Today, I met an elderly woman in yoga classes. She was there for the first time. When the class terminated, she looked discouraged. We started to have a chat in the changing room. She didn’t believe her body would be able to adjust to all positions. She thought it was too late for her. That she can do nothing about that.

– I haven’t exercised for 20 years – she admitted.

I spent a bit more time in the changing room than usual. I told her that beginnings are always difficult, that next time she’ll see the difference, that she’ll be feeling much better when participating systematically in classes. I noticed a hope in her eyes. She was beaming. She smiled. That was what she needed the most – the validation and a feeling that she’s not alone in her efforts. She was grateful. I knew I’ll see her again next time.

3. Focus on personal development

Don’t discount the best opportunity to work on your personal strengths. When you’re alone, you can perfectly focus on yourself. Nobody disturbs your concentration. You can read, you can listen to podcasts, you can watch motivational videos. Moreover, it’s a perfect opportunity to participate in trainings, e-learnings or courses.

Check out my first life course here!

I don’t dispose of much of time only for myself, that’s why every possibility to skip the crowd sounds like an invitation to take care of my mental growth. If you prefer to work on it within a group of people, join a club, a class or a volunteer community. Meet new people who’ll give you a shot of new energy.

***

Another day I wrote a post Why do I like my own company. I discovered that spending time on my own can be a fantastic experience. Some people might feel awkward to go alone to a cafe, to a restaurant or any other public place. Me, on the contrary, I like doing it. I like enjoying space being alone. Having time to think. Seeing wider things and people. Not feeling the obligation to entertain anyone.

What’s the best is that I don’t feel lonely anymore even if I’m alone. Firstly, because I appreciate being alone from time to time and being able to focus on my favorite activities. Secondly, because thanks to all of you I don’t feel lonely. I know you’re there, somewhere in the world, and I can always reach you out or read about what you’re currently going through. It gives me a wonderful sense of belonging to the best group of people I’ve ever known.


Thank you for reading this post! It was a great pleasure to write it for you. If you enjoyed the post, I will be very happy if you like it, comment on it or share it. Your support means a lot to me.

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Thank you for being here,

Mimi


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11 thoughts on “Life Crisis: What to do when feeling lonely”

  • Love this post.
    When I was young, I had to learn to spend a lot of time just staring at the walls. It was something I hated in the beginning, but now fully appreciate. Not many people are comfortable just being with themselves.
    I found myself nodding as I read this post.
    Kudos to you for encouraging that woman. You have to start somewhere! Giving up after a single class is not an option. Well done, Mimi.

    • Thank you, Goldie, for such a warm comment! Indeed, being comfortable with yourself is essential to enjoy being alone. After all, it’s not so bad to disconnect from everyone and everything at least for a while. Today, staring at the walls has a completely different meaning. It helps to make up the mind, put together dispersed thoughts and bring back focus. Another day, it seemed insupportable.

      Sometimes, I used to think that if I only had such knowledge being young as I do have now, I would never be staring at the walls so long. I like to believe it would use this time differently. I would write or I would create plenty of other content. Is it true? Maybe not. First, you need to find out who you are before you start sharing yourself with your readers. It took me years to understand where do I come from and what can I share.

      What about you? What was the reason you spent so much time staring at the walls other times?

      • I think you are right. I needed to learn how to be, first, so now I can create and make use of that time.
        I had a strict upbringing. Very limited TV, no electronics, socializing was also kept at minimum.

      • I’ve got the impression that the less stimulation around, the better creativity and the clearer vision. I struggle a lot to concentrate on one task while being surrounded by so many distractions. Sometimes, I feel like throwing out TV set and other electronic devices. No surprise that plenty of writers lock themselves up in a secluded place to ensure nobody and nothing disturb their creative flow.

        What do you do to stay focus when writing?

      • I try to minimize the external stimuli. Some people like writing with music playing. I don’t. I prefer things to be as quiet as possible. But the truth is that it depends on what I’m writing. If it’s something that just flows, I am able to tune out some background noise. However, when I’m struggling, any little thing can cause me to get distracted.

      • I can relate to what you said about playing music when writing. It’s hard to hear your own thoughts. Music doesn’t bother me when I write in a cafe, but I don’t play it intentionally when I write at home. I appreciate silence and pure listening to my soul.

        Do you have any favorite places where you like to write?

      • I try to write everywhere whenever I get a bit of time and space, but the best place for me is to sit in a cafe over a cup of coffee and good jazz music.

        I would love to be disciplined enough to wake up in the early morning, sit at my desk and keep writing till the sun rises up. But this is not something which I’ve managed to master yet. The best time for me to write is before I go to sleep. Lying in my bed, being surrounded by the darkness and silence, having my loved ones close to me. This is where I feel safe to open up my soul.

        Do you have any preferred time of the day when you write?

      • It’s peculiar how some people love cafes for writing while others (like me) do not.

        I can’t wake up any earlier than I am and there is no time for me to spare in the morning, so I hear you. Although, it’s much easier for me to get up if I want to get to something. Sometimes I surprise myself and wake up on the weekends earlier than I normally would if I feel like writing.

        I go through phases of writing/not writing before bed. It’s definitely something that works for me. It helps me unwind.

        It’s not always possible, but I have recently started writing during my work break. It’s great motivation to actually take a break, it relaxes me and keeps me productive.

      • Maybe it’s because of a stereotype promoted by movies or media that writers usually spend their days sitting in a cafe while creating. For me, sitting in a cafe is a form of disconnecting from the reality. When I write at home there’s always something distracting my attention. Be it a laundry to do, a dinner to cook, kitchen to clean up. When I write in a cafe I can entirely focus on my thoughts.

        Waking up early – having a small baby doesn’t give you much choice. You wake up early whether you want it or not. However, the question is to use this time productively. If by any chance I wake up earlier on the weekend, the only thing I think about is to move to the other side of the bed. How do people do it? Do they go to sleep early as well? Or they’re just underslept?

        I’ve got a habit of writing before bed. I write or I read until my eyelids are drooping. It’s the best method when you struggle with overwhelming thoughts after an intense day. I prefer to get tired this way than to let my fears and doubts deprive me of sleep.

        It’s interesting what you said about writing during your work time. I was sure that you always write at one sitting. Does the length of your break allow you to catch up effectively with writing? Can you concentrate on writing while being at work? Don’t you spend breaks with you workmates?

      • No, I use my break to get away from my workmates. Always have. I get enough of them during working hours. Yes, every now and again we go out to lunch, but that’s rare. I like it that way. This week actually, I wasn’t writing every day as I used to in prior weeks and it makes me somewhat said. The writing during my break is not for the blog. It’s my CW stuff that I do for either just myself or other sites. Most of the time it’s not enough time to finish a story that’s 1k words, so I do that in the evening sometimes. I definitely am trying to figure some things out this year. Find what works best for my writing and do a lot of it. Writing on my break allows me forget about work (which is a great bonus).

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