10 Ways to Combat Loneliness
By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
The world and its norms have shifted. Since the start of the pandemic, people lived, worked, and socialized from home. For many, this affected how relationships are viewed, developed, and maintained. While the world is filled with billions of people, somehow, there are many who feel lonely for a number of reasons. The loss of a loved one, a divorce, moving to a new area, taking on a new job, or the end of friendships. Loneliness can take on any form; however, in a world full of people, love, and hope there are ways to shy away from being alone and feeling lonely. If you’re struggling with this, take a look at some ways to climb out of physical, mental, spiritual or emotional isolation.
1. Get to the Root of your Loneliness
There is always a reason for things that happen in our lives or the way we feel. If you’re feeling lonely, take some time to figure out why. Have you isolated yourself from friends and family? Do you need to change your social circle? Do you have a quality social circle? If ever you're feeling alone, take some time to figure out why. Once you’ve done this, be sure to be proactive in combating these feelings.
2. Be Intentional with Your Time
When being intentional with your time means that you are clear about how you want to spend your time. It also means planning activities that are meaningful to you and your well-being. Take some time each week to plan activities that uplift your soul. Some of these can include a relaxing day at the spa, going to the movies, reconnecting with loved ones, or reading a book. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it meets all of your needs.
3. Schedule Dates with Family and Friends
Nothing combats loneliness like quality time with good company. Call up one of your friends that you haven’t seen in a while and engage in quality conversation with them. Or better yet, make arrangements to meet up with them. Not only will this allow you to reconnect with them, but it will also give you a chance to get out and enjoy a new activity with a familiar face. While you're reaching out to friends, take some time to contact family members you haven’t heard from in a while, or drop by their homes for a visit. The key to avoiding loneliness is interacting with people. Whether they’re family, familiar, or have the potential to become familiar, take some time to spend time with someone.
4. Spend Quality Time with God in Prayer
God is our Heavenly Father. He knows our needs before we ask Him. He knows what we’re experiencing better than we do. So why not spend quality time with Him in prayer? Set aside time every day to communicate with God. Make sure it is an uninterrupted time that isn’t rushed. Talk to Him about what you’re struggling with and what you’re thankful for. While you are in tune with God, quiet your thoughts so you can hear what He has to say to you. God is waiting to spend time with you. Make time for Him daily. You’ll be surprised how it changes your life.
5. Join a Group with Your Similarities
Research different groups, clubs, or associations that engage in activities you’re interested in. When you find the right one, check it out, and if it suits your needs join them! This is a surefire way to meet new people and begin a new journey in your life.
6. Volunteer for a Good Cause
What better way to spend your time than to volunteer for a cause you deem worthy? There are so many organizations that seek help with carrying out their missions. If you are searching for something to do, this is a good place to start. Many people feel lonely because they believe their presence isn’t needed. However, everyone needs someone for something at some point in their lives. Volunteering your time could be one of the biggest blessings you give to someone. It could also be the biggest blessing for you too.
7. Rediscover Hobbies
Everyone has something they love to do. Take some time to tap back into some of your favorite pastimes. You should also explore new hobbies. When you do this, you meet new people who have the same interests as you, and the possibility of developing new friendships opens up.
8. Learn to Understand and Appreciate Alone Time
Many people often overlook the importance of alone time. Spending quality time with yourself is a great way to get to know who you are, and what you like and don’t like. It also helps you focus more on who you want to be and the things you want to do. Humans are social creatures by nature and need healthy interaction with others. However, too much of anything isn’t good for anyone. Therefore, taking time for yourself is a good way to recharge and rejuvenate yourself.
9. Connect with Yourself
Connecting with yourself is vital to one’s existence. It allows you to dig deep into who God created you to be, understand that person and focus on who God wants you to be. Many people confuse alone time and self-connection. When you connect with yourself, you are paying attention to your needs. You are tapping into a deeper connection with God and discovering a new part of yourself. If you’re struggling with ways to connect with yourself, you can begin with the following:
-Affirm yourself with positive words
-Delve into God’s Holy Word daily and read about His love for you
-Actively listen to your body and meet its needs
-Create a sacred space in your home where you can have quiet time
-Adopt a meditation routine and stick with it
No matter what you decide to do, make sure it speaks to your soul and produces a deeper connection with you and your Creator.
10. Seek Professional Help
Feelings of loneliness are something everyone faces. Many people navigate their way out of it while others don’t. If you find that your loneliness is taking control of your life, it’s okay to seek professional help. There are a number of resources available to help you with this battle so you can win and live the life God wants you to live. There is no shame in seeking the help you need.
As we navigate through life, we will all face some form of loneliness. It’s important to recognize those feelings early on and actively do something about it. While alone time is important, it’s also important to interact with those you love and who love you just as much. As you continue on life’s journey, I pray that in your times of loneliness, God fills your heart with His love and guides you towards the right connections to bring you out of that season. I also pray that when you’re in that season, God reveals the source of your loneliness to you so you can have an understanding of where you are. Last, I pray that you become closer to God so that you never feel alone. He is with us every day, so we are never alone. I pray you feel His presence and understand that He will never leave you alone.
Photo credit: @kennangrams
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.