Loneliness is becoming an increasingly common problem for people across the globe. Ironically, this epidemic is affecting the younger generation more than anyone else.
Based on a survey of 10,000 people, a shocking 71% of millennials reported that they felt lonely compared to just 50% of people aged 55-75 years old.
When you have none to begin with, forming new social connections can be one of the hardest things for a lonely person to do. It’s a skill that takes time and confidence to build.
So, what can you do to combat feelings of loneliness? It’s easy to isolate and build walls around yourself. Taking action to improve things is where most people fail.
30 Things for a lonely person to do:
Here are some ways you can improve your mood if you are feeling lonely:
1. Watch a Movie
Watching a movie can be a great way to distract yourself from everyday thoughts. Immerse yourself in an interesting story or documentary and you will soon forget your worries.
Make sure it’s something light-hearted like a superhero movie or a comedy. A tearjerker is the last thing you need if you are already feeling down.
2. Take a hot bath or shower
Taking a hot bath or shower is a very soothing experience. Not only does it help reduce feelings of anxiety, but research shows it has a direct impact on feelings of loneliness.
One study found that feelings of social isolation triggered a need for social warmth. This can be satisfied instead by physical warmth, such as that found in a shower or bath.
So, next time you are feeling lonely, try stepping a hot shower. You could even add some music to enhance the experience.
In terms of the best things for a lonely person to do – no list is complete without the mention of meditation.
Instead of experiencing negative emotions, meditation will allow you to neutrally observe the feeling of loneliness. What causes it? What are you doing that amplifies it?
With practice, it will provide you with greater inner awareness and a better perception of how your mind works. This is a big tool in fighting off feelings of loneliness.
Read more here about the benefits of consistent meditation.
4. Know your value
Are you one of those people who is great at giving advice but can’t take it yourself? It might be time to take a step back and reflect on your situation as if you were an outsider.
Most of the time, we have the solutions to the problems we are facing but are not aware of our capabilities. This also applies to loneliness. It’s not a matter of if you can cure it. It’s how?
5. Do something random
Have some spare time on your hands? Take a walk in an area you’ve never visited before. Take a bus to a random location. Live near the sea or a lake? Go for a swim.
Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you will usually see and hear people along your way. Doing these spontaneous activities will satisfy your wanderlust, and at the same time, will help ward off your loneliness.
6. Get Coffee
Go to some coffee shops in your local area. While you are there, try striking up a conversation with people. Don’t worry about coming off as awkward. You probably won’t see that person again.
The more you practice random conversation, the less awkward it becomes.
7. Savour the moment
Technology is helpful in many ways but is detrimental to feelings of loneliness.
If you often find yourself scrolling through Facebook rather than talking to whoever’s with you – chances are, you are the problem.
Focus on other people when you are with them. Listen to them. Empathize with them. This is how connections are formed.
8. Take photos
Get a camera and take photos of all the beautiful and interesting things around you. Doing so allows you to live in the moment and help the mind to avoid feelings of loneliness.
9. Take a walk
Walking is one of the greatest exercises for the body, but its effects on the mind are often understated.
Studies have shown that walking is directly associated with lower levels of both loneliness and social isolation. It has also been found to significantly lower anxiety and depression levels.
10. Start a gratitude journal
It’s easy to overlook the good things in life and that’s why starting a journal is one of the best things for a lonely person to do.
Write down all the things you are thankful for. When you run out of things, or simply can’t think of any, just write down what you feel. Doing so may sometimes reveal why you feel lonely to begin with.
11. Inspire yourself
Times of loneliness can be potential growth opportunities. Use these moments to look for inspiration, whether it be in a motivational speech, a book, or even a song.
“Loneliness allows your soul room to grow” – Janet Fitch
12. Remove toxic people from your life
Loneliness doesn’t always mean you’re alone. Being around toxic, unsympathetic people may make you feel even lonelier.
13. Talk to yourself
When you think you have no friends you can talk to, become your own friend.
In life, people come and go. Only very few will stay till the end and therefore the most important relationship throughout your life will be your self-relationship.
Talking with others who are experiencing the same feelings of loneliness reminds you of the fact that you are not alone. Most people are just afraid to talk about it.
15. Remember that tomorrow is a new day
Nothing is permanent. As emotions they arise, they also pass. Loneliness is just one of those unpleasant feelings in life.
Focus on what you can do today so that you feel better tomorrow.
Sometimes, all you need to feel better is a little music in your life. It’s almost impossible to feel lonely while singing along to your favorite songs.
17. Do something creative
No, you don’t need to be the next Van Gogh. It might be something as simple as a jigsaw puzzle or playing the guitar.
Do something which you find fun and that helps to soothe your mind.
18. Spend less time on your phone
Make face to face interactions your priority.
Browsing social media for hours tends to make people feel lonelier as they compare themselves to the pictures that others selectively post.
19. Spend time in nature
Spending time in the outdoors is a great way to alleviate stress and negative feelings.
“Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture your mind, body, and soul.” – Anthony Williams
20. Don’t judge yourself
One of the worst things for a lonely person to do is to criticise themselves for feeling that way.
It’s important to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that at the end of the day, you are only human.
21. Accept the feeling
The first step towards moving forward in life is acceptance.
Accept that you feel lonely and then focus your energy into how you can overcome it.
22. Play video games
Believe it or not, video games are a good way to meet people of similar interests.
Most multiplayer games have chat functions where you can connect with these people and share your experiences.
23. Go on a course
Is there something you always wanted to learn but never got round to it? Set aside some time and money and go on a course.
You will meet many interesting people along the way, and at the same time, master a new skill.
24. Set goals
Spend time to set yourself goals and think about how you are going to achieve them.
When your mind is pre-occupied with positive thoughts, you won’t have time to think about loneliness.
If you can find some spare time, think about volunteering somewhere locally.
Not only will you gain satisfaction from helping people, but you will have the opportunity to make new connections with the people around you.
Much like singing, dancing releases endorphins which make you feel better.
Next time you hear a rhythm or song that you like, dance along to it. Any feelings such as loneliness will ease.
27. Get a pet
Non-human companions are sometimes the best company you can have. As you can’t verbally understand each other, the connection you form is unique.
It’s also an opportunity to meet other pet owners and extend your circle of friendships.
28. Join a club
Joining a club can be a great way to meet people who share your passions.
Not only are you likely to make new friends, but you will also learn new things and share this experience with others.
1. Call a friend you haven’t spoke to in a long time
How many times have you sat there and wondered what happened to an old friend of yours? They have probably had the same thought about you.
So, get on the phone and call them up. You’ll be surprised at how long the conversation could last. You may even end up regularly talking again.
2. Seek professional help
This list covers some things for a lonely person to do but if the problem lies deeper – professional help should be considered.
This is all for our List of 30 Things for a lonely person to do.
Loneliness is something that everyone goes through during their lives. If you are experiencing it on a consistent basis, however, it might be time to seek outside help.
It may be the symptom of a more serious mental health condition as depression and will require greater intervention.