Living on your own can sometimes be a lifestyle choice, or it might be due to necessity or a culmination of circumstances. When living alone, for whatever reason, it can sometimes be difficult to combat a feeling of loneliness and social isolation.
The adage of being ‘alone in a crowd’ shines a light on the fact that being amongst other people doesn’t mean that you can’t feel lonely at the same time. However, when solo home living means limited contact with others, a more profound feeling of disconnection can result.
The past few months have brought this into focus for many people who might not have been affected by it before. Various limitations on socializing due to the coronavirus pandemic, either self-imposed or legally mandated, has changed how most of us lead our daily lives.
For those living on their own, this has brought many challenges when it comes to beating the adverse effects of being isolated from everyday social routines. Thankfully there are plenty of ways that you can beat this feeling of loneliness even in these unprecedented times.
The online world we live in means that there are limitless opportunities to connect with others 24/7. The most popular way is by using the platforms with the give-away clue in their name – social media.
Facebook became huge on the back of people using it to keep in touch with friends and family. It also built on its predecessor ‘Friends Reunited’ by giving people the chance to seek others with whom they have lost contact. Other social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram offer different connecting methods, and each attracts its own demographic and fan base.
The early days of the internet saw subject-specific forums play a much more significant role. Today they still offer excellent opportunities to engage with others who might share your enthusiasm about subjects such as music, movies, TV, cars, cooking, or almost anything else you can imagine.
Of course, there are also less informal ways to use online platforms and services to combat loneliness and its associated problems.
Stress can easily result from feeling cut off from other people and the world in general, which can be helped by using online therapy for anxiety. Taking a web-based approach to accessing professional help means you can do so much more discretely than having to attend an appointment at a physical address. It also means that it’s a perfect solution for anyone looking for this kind of therapy under social distancing conditions.
Having a pet is a well-known way to combat feelings of loneliness. Obviously, dogs and cats are the most popular choices, but more exotic and unusual animals can also provide the same sense of connection.
Taking a dog for a walk is a great motivation to get outdoors and into the fresh air. Pet ownership also brings with it another community of like-minded people that can offer help, advice, and tips either in the ‘real world’ or online.
Of course, you are more likely to feel a sense of loneliness when you let your mind focus on the idea of it too much. Keeping mentally active and engaged makes it far easier to keep the feelings at bay, so making sure that you have hobbies and interests that absorb your concentration is vital.
Almost anything that would be classed as a hobby or general subject of interest will likely have some form of social interaction aspect that comes with it, even if once again, it takes place in the ‘virtual’ world. Mainly though, the simple joys and pleasures that can come from taking a deep interest in a particular thing will be the reward in itself.
One of the aspects of taking an initial interest in something to a deeper level usually involves learning more about it and the people involved. In more general terms, ‘learning’ can be a great way to combat loneliness, as structured educational programs usually involve interaction with others and therefore have a built-in social aspect.
Whether that means attending classes or taking part in other group activities, giving your mind the task of learning new things gives you a chance to focus on something positive. It will also expand your outlook and horizons outside of your home.