It happens to more people than you would think, even the socialites. It can be a feeling that you’ve been battling with for weeks, sometimes it comes in waves and other times it’s a rush of emotion that sneaks up on you.
Loneliness is a natural feeling that anyone can feel when they are lacking a certain type of connections in their life. Humans are created with the desire to connect with one another and form relationship. This applies to romantic relationships, friendships, family, and even a relationship with yourself. Because this desire is built-in, it can be damaging to our mental and physical health if loneliness persists and consumes our life.
There are many forms of loneliness that people often don’t recognize. It doesn’t only affect people who have little to no friends or family and go through life on their own. Loneliness can plague someone who has a circle of fifteen friends, or the extrovert who has no trouble being the life of the party.
Do Pinpoint the Source
Before jumping into action mode or accepting your current emotional state, it’s more effective to determine why you’re feeling lonely. Start by being honest about these specific questions:
- When did I start feeling lonely?
- When does the loneliness feel most intense?
- Am I isolating myself, or being isolated?
- When or where do I feel most comfortable and fulfilled?
These questions are great starting points to help you pinpoint what you may be lacking in life to make you feel lonely.
Do Spend Some Time with Yourself
This may not be the first thought people have when their feeling lonely, but as we said, there are different causes of loneliness. Sometimes we miss some good old fashion alone time. As much as we need to be connected with other people, we also need to have that constant connection with ourselves. This is a good remedy for this time of year when there is an abundance of Christmas parties, family gatherings and work responsibilities. The stress of all of these commitments can make you feel overwhelmed, which can also bring about feelings of loneliness. Maybe you feel no one understands, or you have just had enough of the events and obligations.
If you start having these overwhelming emotions, please don’t ignore them. Instead, decline as many invitations as you’d like, ask for help if you need it, and take time for yourself. Curl up on your couch with a cup of cocoa and turn on a holiday movie. And if that’s not your cup of tea, do whatever it is that soothes you—even if that includes doing absolutely nothing.
Do Accept or Send an Invitation
Sometimes we get so deep into loneliness, we don’t realize that we’ve actually started to isolate ourselves. The next invitation you get, accept it. Even if you don’t think you’ll like it or you’re not up to it, push yourself to get out of that funk. It’s possible to get used to not feeling emotionally well. So even when your initial reaction is to decline or ignore any offers to get you out of the house, it may be just what you need to feel fulfilled again.
And if you haven’t received any recent invitations, don’t shy away from sending one. Yes, it can be even harder, but think about your happiness, your mental health and the other people in your life that would benefit from your presence. Go to that holiday party, accept your coworker’s invitation to go to happy hour or call up an old friend for a chat. You deserve to be happy; even it takes some hard work.
Volunteering is one of my favorite self-care acts because it does so much good. It benefits a cause, as well as the person donating their time and efforts. You’d be surprise how much you can get from giving. Not only will you feel good about the impact you’ve made on others or our environment, but you can also invite some great people into your life. Chances are the other volunteers will be like-minded or have similar interests. This can help you make connections with new people that could potentially grow into friendship.
At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose.
If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.