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Tips for Managing Loneliness

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The experience of loneliness is one of the most common, yet difficult to discuss feelings. Inherent in loneliness is a sense of isolation, feeling inherently different from others, and feelings of shame. If you are currently or have ever experienced loneliness, know that this experience connects you, rather than separates you, from others. Here are a few tips you can try to get some relief from this difficult experience.  Maybe you can try many of these or maybe you can only do one or two. That’s okay! Small steps can make a big difference.


#1 Acknowledge your feelings.
Let people around you know that you have feelings of loneliness. A lot of times people are so busy and caught up in their own lives and don’t notice the needs of those around them. Take inventory of people in your life. Who are the top three most compassionate people that you know? Who can you trust to hold space for you in a non-judgmental way? Start with them; tell them how you feel and that you can use their support. You might be surprised at the ways in which they show up for you and help you feel more connected again.

#2 Build intimacy.
Loneliness can often be attributed to feeling disconnected, not heard or not understood by others. Again, bring to mind the most compassionate people in your life. Is there a friend, neighbor, family member or colleague who you trust to hold space for you? Take the risk to open up and let yourself be known by them. You don’t have to share everything…just start slowly. See how they respond, and consider whether it’s safe to let them in further. Feeling truly seen and accepted is one of the most powerful antidotes to loneliness. While it takes courage, the payoff is absolutely worth any discomfort.

#3 Limit your time on social media and online activities.
It seems like connecting online is a great way to interact with others. But, many studies show that too much time spent in the digital world makes one feel more lonely and isolated. Not to mention the comparison woes that occur on social media which can inadvertently increase feelings of shame and dissatisfaction with your life. This does not mean that you should disconnect from truly safe online communities. Just be more intentional about your consumption and relationship to social media.

#4 Make plans with acquaintances, friends and family.
This one is so important. The only way to relieve loneliness is to reconnect with others. This means taking the initiative to reach out and make plans. You may not be a natural planner or initiator, but try to step out of your comfort zone and invite people to spend time with you. Even small coffee meetings or taking a walk with a friend can go a long way.

#5 Make new connections through volunteering or other activities.
Visiting a nursing home, reading at an elementary school, working at an animal shelter, or staffing a soup kitchen are great ways to be with others and do good in your community. You can also go to a lecture or take a class. This is a nice way to be with people without the pressure of interacting.

#6 Try deepening your connection with yourself.
Many people who experience loneliness feel very disconnected with their own true feelings, thoughts and desires.. Try meditation and journaling to connect with your internal world. The more you understand and accept yourself, the more connected you will feel.

#7 Take care of yourself.
Focusing on self-care and building up resiliency can go a long way with alleviating your feelings of loneliness. Get good sleep, spend time outdoors, and try to exercise or walk each day. These provide a buffer from the psychological distress of loneliness.

#8 Seek out individual or group therapy.
The therapists at Pathways to Freedom would love to walk with you through feelings of disconnect, challenging relationships, or problematic relationship patterns. Let us help you create the life you want and deserve!


 “The antidote to loneliness is connection…not just with others, but with ourselves.”


Our therapists are here to help you overcome relationship challenges of all kinds.

Book your complimentary consultation today.

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