Sometimes, we feel alone even when we are in a full classroom, crowded room, or busy office environment where we don't feel seen or connected.
Other times, we feel lonely because we aren't around other people for a while.
The reason might be outside our control, like the pandemic or moving to a new place where we don't know many people. But there are also times that we feel lonely because it's hard for us to engage, and we just can't do the things we usually do right now.
No matter the reason, it's okay to feel lonely.
As long as you're taking care of yourself, feel free to do whatever feels right. But know that there are plenty of ways to deal with loneliness if you need some help.
If you're feeling lonely, here are 5 things you can do.
There are times when we need to reach out to the people we love because they don't know how we feel.
It's not because they don't care. It's not because what we feel is wrong. Often, we try to be strong, and our suffering is so quiet that it takes bravery to ask for what we need.
If you don't feel like your loved ones see you, reach out to them and tell them exactly what you need.
When you're feeling alone, it might not seem like the right solution to spend some time alone.
But when we feel lonely, it usually means we are hungry for some type of emotional fulfillment (and that can come from you, believe it or not).
You can fill that emotional void by practicing self-care. Whether it's a warm bubble bath, taking a nap, enjoying a walk, or taking time to read your favorite book, doing a bit of self-care helps many people feel better about spending time alone.
There isn't anything that can replace face-to-face interactions with other people.
Hearing the tone of voice, seeing facial expressions, and even experiencing physical touch (depending on the situation) are important ways we interact as human beings.
But when that kind of interaction isn't possible or comfortable, our personal needs for connection stay the same.
Here's some good news: you can easily find a community online using forums, online groups, chat rooms, and social media spaces. One of the benefits of connecting online is that you can quickly identify the groups you're interested in and interact at any time that's convenient for you.
Sure, therapy can be hard. Digging deeply into your most challenging experiences and talking about those feelings may not be your ideal way to spend your free time.
But having sensitive conversations with others who have had similar experiences can make it much easier.
Finding a local support group can help make the process of working through your past much easier because you can choose to share or just sit and listen.
Whatever you choose to do, support groups may provide relief for loneliness because you're around other people who understand what you've been through.
An excellent way to get out, learn something new, and meet like-minded people is to enroll in a class to learn about something you're interested in.
Whether it's a community college course that helps you explore academic subject matter, classes at your local recreation center, or weekly lessons in creative crafting, learning something inspiring new can help you meet a new crew.