6 Tips to Deal with Loneliness While Stuck At Home
One of the first things that your brain does when you’re home alone is switch to survival mode. That is to say, it starts to look for any possible source of stimulation. Then it filters through all of the options and chooses the best one. In the age where everything is at our fingertips and finding time to call out a friend is as easy as typing on your smartphone, social media isn’t that good at helping to interact with other people.
So, use these 6 tips to avoid loneliness.
Make a list of your favorite people
“Our brain is the most social organ we have. It’s all about human connection. When we’re really lonely, we find it hard to connect with other people, and that causes stress,” explains Arthur Aron, a psychologist at Stony Brook University.
Start by making a list of all of the friends you can think of. This can be all of your co-workers, your neighbors, your friends at the gym, or just the random friends you’ve had coffee with.
Then plan to spend about 30 minutes with them to show that you’re still active in their lives. We don’t use the talking part of our telephones much anymore. It’s a wonderful feature.
Also, share this list with other people. Tell them that you are doing this exercise to improve, not only your mental health but also, those who you are contacting. This will prompt them to participate and many people on your list will begin talking and making new connections.
You’ve now created a “Virtual Mingle” that will promote stimulating conversation between everyone at your “party”.
Consider getting a dog or a cat
You may think of your dogs as your most beloved pets, but there’s a reason you’ve grown close to them. Dogs and cats are very social creatures, and they want to be close to you.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of loneliness when you’re at home all day. However, your “boring” house is a prime location for your dog or cat to go in search of stimulation. By allowing a new friend to explore the wonders of your home, you’ll want to help make it even more interesting for them. They just want to be with you. But, your nurturing nature will kick in and you will find ways to make their new life with you more fulfilling.
Just remember to take the time to pick a companion that will be compatible with your lifestyle. Consider a “senior pet” rather than a puppy or kitten. They still have lots of exploring they’d like to do. The added benefit is that you will spend less time stressing over their extra hyper youthfulness. That can be too stressful, especially if you’re already lonely and a little disconnected.
Let people know you’re lonely
Many people go on a solo vacation without telling their friends or family. They don’t realize they’re doing it because they are too ashamed. We tend to reject help when we feel like a burden. We can do an entire article on the importance of letting people know when you are experiencing “headspace” issues.
Get over the idea that you need to be a martyr to your loneliness.
Go back to your roots
Order a few new picture albums, get out those old photographs of yesteryear, and give them new life.
Remember those hobbies you had when you were younger? Do you know how (in the back of your mind) you’ve thought you’d like to try that one thing again? Do it.
You will unlock a part of your brain that has been asleep for years. By picking up a long-forgotten hobby, you will certainly benefit from the nostalgia and create a new “spark” for today.
When you’re sad, it’s easy to run into self-pity. Instead, reach out and volunteer for something that feeds your soul. Others are feeling lonely and isolated during this time. Help them and enjoy the benefit of helping yourself at the same time.
It’s more blessed to give than to receive is not just for decorative wall art. There’s real science that backs this up 100%.
Make New Memories
It’s cliché, but the older we get, the harder it is to make new memories. But as you get older, new memories do come easily. Use this time to create the life you want. Let the people on your list from step 1 know that you are open to new experiences. You’ll be surprised at the suggestions they offer up. In fact, somebody just might have an idea that “flips the switch” for you.
Do something new, something you’ve always wanted to do.
While you’re taking a new step in your life, remember: No matter where you go, there you are. That’s usually a negative connotation, but in this case, it can be a wonderful breath of fresh air.