Feeling lonely? You’re not alone. In fact, more than half of adults in the U.S. regularly or always feel alone or left out. Yesterday was World Cheer up the Lonely Day but you can still celebrate by doing something simple. Smile at a stranger. Be patient with a store clerk. Compliment the barista. Spread kindness and you may make someone feel less alone and make yourself feel more connected. Want to do more? Here are 6 ways to combat that lonely feeling.
Nurture Existing Relationships
It’s easy to pull away from the relationships you already have when you’re feeling lonely. The truth about loneliness is that it doesn't always mean you’re literally alone; sometimes it just feels that way even while you’re surrounded by people you know. If you’re feeling lonely, reach out. Schedule a time every week to call or visit a friend even if it’s a short coffee date. Start up conversations with neighbors or people you recognize at the places you frequent. Use social media to reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with due to time or distance, or find groups of people with shared interests to make new connections.
Try a New Hobby
There’s nothing like discovering a new hobby you’re passionate about to take your mind off of negative thoughts and feelings. Hop on Pinterest and find a craft you want to try, then go to a craft store and pick up the supplies you need to get started. Go to the library and check out new books to read, then curl up with a mug of tea and find yourself world’s away! Sign up for a new workout class that pushes you outside your comfort zone. Try Zumba or Cycling for high energy, community-based classes. You might even meet new people as you dive into your new hobby!
When you take action in something you’re passionate about, you’re not only helping others but also helping yourself. It’s okay to feel good about the positive impact you’ve made by volunteering and getting involved. Does your local Humane Society need dog walkers? Does a food bank need delivery drivers? Find something you’re passionate about and volunteer. You might also connect with someone like-minded.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
It’s easy to get down on yourself and focus on the negative. Instead, try to write down all the things you appreciate about yourself or the things that make you unique. Find a positive mantra to repeat to yourself anytime you have intrusive negative thoughts; something like: “I am enough,” “Positive thinking creates positive things,” “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be great,” or whatever resonates with you. Use your mantra anytime you feel blue.
Talk to Someone
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Find a trusted friend, family member, or counselor who you’re comfortable speaking openly with about your feelings of loneliness. You might even discover that someone else is feeling the same way you are and needs the support as much as you do. Sometimes it helps to just get your feelings out there by speaking them aloud, writing them down, or feeling heard. Once you’ve gotten it off your chest, the weight might begin to lift but first, you have to take that first step.
Get Better Sleep
It may seem like a no-brainer, but maintaining a healthy sleep schedule impacts so much of our overall health. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have reported that studies have shown there’s a connection between sleep and loneliness. In a series of experiments, they found that a lack of sleep changed a person’s behavior, emotions, and brain activity which actually led to heightened feelings of loneliness. Sleep deprivation was also found to cause an avoidance of social contact and the areas of the brain responsible for understanding people’s actions became less active. All of this suggests that getting better sleep can help you combat your feelings of loneliness.
Here at Naturepedic, we know that organic, non-toxic sleep has an impact on your health and wellness. We are here to help you live a healthier, happier life one night at a time. Remember, loneliness is a very common feeling. You’re not alone in your feelings and there are ways you can improve your mood. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try a Naturepedic pillow, sheet set, or go all-in with an organic mattress.