If you're single, married, surrounded by a ton of family and friends, you can feel lonely from time to time. Loneliness can stem from a lot of factors to include low self-esteem.
As a single female in her mid-late 30's, I often feel alienated each time I see my friends' Facebook highlight reels of baby number 3, baby moon photos and other life milestones that I thought I'd hit by now.
But that's the thing, social media is all highlight reels. Rarely do people post about their messy middle to reach the milestone.
Ironically, in the digital world, we can feel increasingly lonely. While we may use Zoom or social media to feel more connected, it may be causing us to feel isolated.
In addition, research shows that people who lack self-confidence often believe they are unworthy or "less than" their peers, which can lead to isolation and chronic loneliness.
Loneliness can lower the immune system and be a contributing factor to other health issues. Here are 7 simple ways that have helped me overcome loneliness.
1. Write it out: Journal, blog, just write
Tend to overthink? Ruminating about the past all the time? No worries, we're in the same boat. By writing things down, the mental declutter helps to decrease the feeling of loneliness.
After all, loneliness is a perception of isolation. It is not as much an absence of people around you as it is a perception of being an outsider.
Whether you over analyze everything or have a hard time managing negative thought patterns, writing it all down can help you not get too caught up in your head.
I like to journal and blog. My morning routine includes writing out my thoughts for at least 10 minutes before I start my work day. If there are any Aha Moments, I like to blog about it to share publicly.
2. Meditate it out.
That's right, clear that third eye chakra. Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day.
Meditation helps us to understand the nature of our thoughts as simply thoughts and our relationship to them, so that our thoughts can be more at our service rather than the other way around.
With a busy schedule and a busier mind, taking the time to meditate may be tricky. However, a few minutes of practice can be as effective as an hour.
Meditating does not mean you have to sit still.
Walking meditations are just as beneficial! So go out in nature and just be. No music, no iPhone. Just be.
Also, meditating does not mean you have to somehow make your mind blank. If your mind wanders, that’s natural. All you have to do is bring the attention back to your breath each time.
3. Soul write.
Soul writing is different that journaling. It’s also not the same is automatic writing either.
Soul writing is a writing process to divine dialogue. When you write at the soul level, activate a “divine voice” by slipping into the theta brainwave state.
According to Janet Conner, author of “Writing Down Your Soul”, soul writing is a unique but simple process that allows you to get out of your conscious, stress-filled mind. It helps you get in touch with your deep, authentic self–your soul.
4. Talk it out: Friends, family, mental health professionals
Sometimes I get way too caught up in my head. While writing it down every morning helps with mental declutter, talking things out helps me gain different perspectives.
I like to schedule phone dates with family and friends while I go on a walk or am sitting out in nature. Talking to a mental health professional is also very beneficial is getting an objective point of view.
There's something about talking things out that helps release the pent up feeling of isolation. It helps us feel connected even if we aren't talking about a particular problem and just shooting the breeze.
Sometimes finding a therapist that is a good fit takes time. So you may also want to check with your healthy insurance company to see if there is a mental hotline number to call when you need to talk things out.
5. Sweat it out: Just move.
Walk, yoga, dance. Just move your body! I started walking around my neighborhood for 30-minutes a day. Then I included talking on the phone with friends and family.
Eventually I would get caught up catching up with friends and family over the phone that an hour or two of walking would easily pass by.
Have a hard time getting movin'? Get an accountability partner! Whether it's a gym buddy or a walking partner, having that accountability can make all the difference.
What you track, grows. After all, energy flows where attention goes. Thus, tracking my daily step count on my phone also helps me to hit goals.
Here's a recent dance party I had just by myself!
6. Play it out: Create, experiment, explore.
Lately, I've been playing around on TikTok. I create fun short videos just for pure entertainment.
Being goofy and exaggerating my expressions in these videos help me feel alive. When I share it with close friends, they get a good laugh and I feel even more connected.
Creating and experimenting can take form in graphic design, gardening, cooking and many other activities. Any you never know, it might lead to a great business idea!
Here's a recent TikTok video where I got creative with the visuals, filters and editing.
7. Fill your mental space: Podcasts, audio books, music
It can get very quiet around here when working from home and living alone. Other than the noisy neighbors upstairs and the noise from the freeway, there's a lot of silence every day.
Sometimes in the silence, my mind goes down the rabbit hole. So I like to fill my head with personal development podcasts, personal finance audio books and all types of music.
Even listening to podcast interviews helps to fill the void and makes me feel less lonely. It's like I'm working in a cafe surrounded by other voices.
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