Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been numerous studies
and conversations surrounding the epidemic of loneliness. Even before covid,
people were becoming increasingly isolated due to social media, technology,
cellphones (texting instead of talking), depression, grief, and other reasons.
Post-pandemic, a lot of people are really feeling the struggle
when it comes to being alone almost all the time, including those who have
found no other choice than to quarantine and avoid meeting up with others.
Experts have revealed that loneliness could have numerous effects on people,
including physical and mental health issues, if this lifestyle isn’t managed
We can forge better relationships with friends and family so
that we increase the possibilities of having meaningful social interactions now
and in the future. At the same time, unfortunately, we can’t force people to
spend more time with us to “cure” our loneliness. But we can learn how to get
more comfortable with being alone and enjoying our own company over time. Here
are a few tips for how we can overcome feelings of loneliness and sadness, and
think more optimistically for the future.
Maintain High Standards
I talk about this in my book Sing While You’re Single. No matter how low, alone, or sad you may
feel, strive to maintain a certain standard for yourself (personal hygiene and
looks) and the place where you live (keeping it tidy, organized, and smelling
good). Even if it’s just brushing and flossing your teeth meticulously each day
or wiping down your kitchen counter so that it gleams. Just do it, it’s for
you. You might feel lonely every now and again, but at least you can look good
and feel good in your home—make it your Oasis.
Be Good to the Good
People You Still Have in Your Life
Nearly a decade ago I was angry and resentful of pretty much
everyone in my life because I felt that they abandoned me in my time of need.
Well, you know what? I had to get over that because it was
making me increasingly isolated and even more angry at life and people. That
approach wasn’t working. So, I began to study Universal principles and listen
to motivational speakers and authors. It calmed me and gave me some sense of
hope. I worked on myself and forgave whoever I thought wronged me. Truth be
told, most people do not care if you are mad at them. Some don’t even know. There
is no point hanging onto negative feelings about others—instead, focus on the
decent people you know or encounter and build better relationships with them.
Be About Your Business
It is difficult to feel lonely, unhappy, and caught up in
negative thoughts when you are busy with something that you are passionate
about. Get busy doing something that you love, whether it is working on a plan
to generate extra income, studying your craft to become a high-end expert, or working
on your artwork.
Remember though: everything in moderation. Avoid becoming a
workaholic to the point where you lose yourself or get distracted from other
aspects of living well, such as preparing healthy meals, getting exercise, and
staying in touch with loved ones.
Continue to Actively
Participate in the World
Feelings of loneliness are exacerbated when you start to
isolate yourself in your home and not actively participate in the world. Make
efforts to go outside as much as possible and stay active. You can take a walk
in a park with an ice-cold Snapple or smoothie, go to a shopping center even
just to window shop, or just go outside your house and have a short
conversation with a neighbor.
Just make every effort to go outside and interact with the
world in some way. Breathe in the fresh air. Regular exercise outdoors is renewing
and invigorating. See if there may be an outdoor fitness class you can join
that allows for proper social distancing or find a quiet, safe place where you
can practice yoga stretches.
Recognize When You’re
Talking to Your Higher Power
When you feel like you may be talking to yourself, it might
really be that you’re talking to your Higher Power, a guardian angel, or maybe
a loved one who passed. I don’t think you are really alone if you believe that.
Deep down you know that someone who cares about you is listening. Be comforted
by that when you are feeling lonely.
It Takes Time to Get
Used to Being with Yourself
It can take months or years before you finally become
comfortable with just being alone with yourself, whether it’s at home cooking, going
to an outdoor restaurant by yourself for a special meal, or just going for a
walk on the beach. But there’s a good chance that you might learn to like it:
the peace of not having to entertain other people’s personalities or
proclivities and just do whatever YOU want.
Sometimes when I am with others, I look forward to getting
back to my solitude, peace, and calm. I love myself, I like myself, and I enjoy
spending time alone. But that took time.
Despite a number of personal tragedies that were out of my
control, I am still optimistic that things can get better. You may be able to
relate. This “epidemic of loneliness” does not have to become our new normal. I
believe that we can return to having stronger connections with others while
also being safe and responsible. We take things day by day, step by step, show
genuine care for ourselves and our loved ones, and focus on positive thoughts
for the future.