In a world that is more “connected” than ever, loneliness is rifer than animal hair and fluff on black coats. It’s gotten out of hand. Just the fact that there are professions dedicated to cuddling people/strangers in a platonic way – shows how far we have come on the loneliness scale.
Loneliness is often associated with single people, newly divorced folk, the widowed and people who wear Crocs. But it is very possible to be a married mom of six, or the breadwinner of four and to feel so utterly, completely and stranglingly lonely. And if you are reading this blog, you may have experienced loneliness from time-to-time, if not all the time.
As a single lady in my 30s feeling that everyone was either married, in a relationship, busy with their kids or at least looking for someone on Tinder – I had choices to make. Be unhappy and in constant pursuit of a better half, or live my life well and enjoy myself, realising being alone doesn’t mean being lonely or even incomplete. Here are four things that helped me combat loneliness:
#1 Get Hobbies
Start a blog, take up horse riding, start belly dancing, take up cooking or join a club. If you have something to look forward to, several things to occupy your attention… instead of having endless time to meditate on yourself (“poor me vibes”), and if you do something that makes you feel like an awesome individual – you are less likely to feel lonely.
Clubs are a really good way for you to interact with people
while enjoying your favourite hobby. If you have no likes or hobbies, try a bit
Animal shelters, crisis centres, churches, NPO’s etc. There
is so much need in this incredible world of ours. The best way to combat your
own loneliness is to give back and help others with theirs. Imagine the love
and life you can bring to an animal or person in need. In the end, the more you
focus on others rather than yourself, the less lonely you feel.
#3 Invest in People
The thing is with love is the more you authentically and abundantly give, the more you receive. Check-in on your friends. Leave them voice notes and ask them how they are. Make coffee dates or catch up sessions. And if you don’t have friends volunteering or joining clubs is a great way to make some. The more you give, the more you get.
This doesn’t mean you invest in the wrong type of
bloodsucking or manipulative people. It does mean you are a blessing to those
#4 Perhaps Invest in a Furry
There is a dynamic, a fluffy brings to a house that can’t easily be replicated. Animals bring joy and laughter to any home. And having the awesome privilege of owning (and loving) an animal also has the great benefit of getting you to socialise with others. Taking your doggy to the park for a walk or to the vet gives you the opportunity to interact with others. Joining all the cat/dog/animal groups on Facebook will also give you the opportunity to find out all about the latest events that will help you keep busy.
Although getting an animal from a shelter or SPCA is amazing; it is a lifetime commitment. So, if you become “less lonely”, or meet someone or have kids – that pet stays and gets as much love, attention and commitment from you as the day you needed them as a companion. Don’t get an animal if you are never at home, planning to emigrate, travel often or if you can’t afford to take amazing care of it. But if the circumstances are right – there is no better cure for loneliness than a fluffy half.
Loneliness may be a season for you. But you don’t have to feel alone. Reach out to your local community church, centre or shelter. And take a few steps, like those mentioned in the blog to ensure you combat the tangible yet invisible grips of loneliness in your life.