Being lonely is part of the human condition. We all succumb once in a while. Here are nine things when lonely you can do to change your mood. And remember, moods and feelings come and go. That is their nature. I would love your comments, and invite you to add the “tenth thing” to the list. You will have to read to idea #7 to understand the photo here!
1. Take a walk. Go “forest bathing.” Being outside means also getting outside of yourself. (Anxiety is always an inside job.) Walking with the intention of noticing the details around you: the doors of homes, or the specific flowers and plants around you, and the state they are in. Are they crumbly or well kept? What impact is the season having on the nature around you? What evidence do you see of human impact?
2. Get coffee. By all means, get coffee! Cafes rank as one of the top six human inventions in my book. (The others are ATM’s, post it notes, air conditioning, Netflix, vaccines, and driverless cars.) What is more luxurious than getting to nurse a great cuppa with your time un-bookended by some appointment or “must do’ activity?
3. Check out the movies. I’m one of those introverts that likes seeing movies alone (not that I don’t enjoy company). The comfort of the cool darkness can be a balm to your spirit. Give it awhirl, or if it’s not your style at all, watch a movie on Netflix. Get out the Orville Redenbacher. Enjoy.
4. Head to the gym if you happen to be a member. If not, Youtube awaits. Thousands of videos exist from meditation to yoga to killer full body workouts. The exercise will flood you with endorphins and lift your mood.
5. Read. Sometimes when I am stewing over something, its as if my focus is gone. That is when I turn to short articles. Or I’ll tune in to a great audio book and get lost in the characters. Reading a great novel is something we generally tend to prefer doing alone anyways. When you get in this mood, sometimes just making yourself read the first five pages is enough to get you engaged.
6. Along those lines, going to your local library is a good plan. Libraries are highly underrated places, and you would be surprised at the available resources there. Hit up the reference desk of an odd topic or the latest suggestions on how to research it for yourself.
7. Another idea I read somewhere was to go get a haircut. An odd suggestion perhaps, but for me, getting a haircut always makes me feel sort of “new.” And hey, hair grows back. You can be as creative as your want! And that is a good feeling if you are down.
8. Plan and prepare an exquisite meal for yourself. No cans, delivery, or frozen stuff allowed! Select a couple of recipes. Check your pantry. What do you need ? If it’s not all there, get thee to the market. Once home, put on the music, grab a glass of your favorite wine or cocktail, and move into gourmet mode!
9. Take a shower, the longest hottest one you can stand. You’ve got to trust me on this one: taking a shower (or bath if you like) is a great way to enjoy your alone time rather than wallow in it. Being alone can be luxurious and wonderful. Treat yourself to the sensations of the water running all over you, and do a little stretching while you muscles are warm. And afterwards, if you do it my way, indulge in your favorite beverage after—to rehydrate of course.
If you feel lonely a lot, then think about why. If it’s because you’re not making friends easily then look for different places where you can meet people with similar values. Meetup can provide you with options, or giving back to your community in organizations like United Way, or local animal rescue operations. The recent awful Hurricane Harvey in Houston (they need underwear!!!) offers unique opportunities to branch out and help those truly in need.
And if you cannot lift yourself out of the sense of loneliness, please contact me. While occasionally feeling lonely is part of the human condition, staying in that mood leads to depression and anxiety. I am here and in your neighborhood and ready to help. Go to my contact page and shoot me an email. I’m waiting for you.