I’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf. Despite being an outgoing and social PR girl who gets paid to communicate with others, at heart I’m an introvert and in between bursts of social activity, I generally need long periods of time alone by myself to rejuvenate.
While I’ve always loved my independence and prided myself on the fact that I live alone, I’m not afraid to travel solo and I legitimately enjoy eating out and going to the movies by myself…lately I’ve been struck with more than my fair share of loneliness.
Perhaps this has something to do with finding myself single among a sea of couples, or potentially it’s about moving house and dealing with a lot of life change in a short period of time.
Whatever the reason one thing I know is loneliness hurts…it singles you out, hits you hard and weighs you down!
So how do you deal with the loneliness? Well if you’re anything like me and at first you don’t quite recognise the emotion you flail about anxiously and try to distract yourself from feeling anything by reaching out to unsuitables, partying to forget your troubles and trying your darndest to fill your time with mindless social activity.
After a while though you start to realise that distractions don’t quite always work. See loneliness is a tricky emotion…it’ll catch you and weigh you down even when you’re surrounded by a crowd of people. All you can really is to do is acknowledge the loneliness, accept the fact that you feel this way and develop a plan to deal with it.
Below is my plan, I hope it helps you if you’re feeling lonely and struggling to deal:
- Figure out what triggers the loneliness to flare up. Maybe it’s photos of engagement rings on Facebook or perhaps it’s when your best friend gets all gushy about her pregnancy. Whatever it is, being aware is the first step to dealing with it.
- Work out a plan to soothe and manage the loneliness. While ideally you want to prevent feeling lonely, if you are triggered have a plan in place to soothe and make yourself feel better. Maybe you journal or meditate, reach out and call a friend or go and visit your family.
- Whip out your calendar and note down everything that’s happening in your life. I put down my gym classes, dinner with friends, when I’ll be studying, the time I’ve set aside to work on my business. Everything I can think of goes in my calendar and then everyday when I look at it I know have plenty of social activity to look forward too. If it looks like a light week I’ll reach out and make some plans, even if it’s just heading to the gym for an extra class or deciding to take myself out for coffee to read a great book one day.
- Keep focused on your goals and what you want to create in your life. I like to write my goals down everyday. It’s a great reminder of what you’re working towards. I’m currently studying life coaching; I recently launched an online coaching business and next year I’m going to Paris. All three are big exciting goals that are 100% focused on me and don’t require a partner.
- Stay open to meeting new friends or a partner. Write down all the qualities and values that are important to you in your relationships. Read over it regularly and keep it in mind when you’re out and about, particularly when dating. This will stop you wasting time with people who you are not compatible with just because you feel lonely.
While in the midst of loneliness it may not feel like it but this time is just one period in your life. You’re not a problem to be fixed and there’s nothing wrong with you – embrace your life whether you’re single or partnered and make the most of it, it’s the only one you’ve got.
What are your top tips to handle loneliness? Comment below xx