As we adjust to the protective measures put in place as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, “sheltering in place” may bring some people a sense of relief, since doing so lowers our risk of getting sick.
But I know for many of us, loneliness and isolation feel stronger now than ever. It is completely understandable to feel lonely when you have to stay at home, when many of your favorite places are closed, and when you can’t participate in your normal routine.
I hope these reminders can bring you some comfort if you feel alone during this challenging time.
How to Reduce Loneliness
You Are Not Going Through This Alone
Even if you have to spend a lot more time in solitude, you are not going through this difficult situation alone. All of us are experiencing the sweeping changes, the many adjustments, and the grief that comes with not seeing people we care about for long periods of time. Sometimes, I find that reminding myself that others understand how I am feeling can help me feel more connected to them.
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There are Still Ways to Connect
We may not be able to make the loneliness go away completely. But there are ways we can lessen it, or shift our focus to other feelings and thoughts.
It helps to call friends you can’t visit during this time. Let them know you miss them, and that you’re thinking of them. Share how you’re feeling with one another, and offer support. It will uplift your friend, and hopefully, lift your spirits in the process.
If you have access to the internet, you can set up regular video calls with friends and family. Seeing someone’s face and watching them smile, laugh, or cry with you as you talk can make a big difference in how connected you feel. It doesn’t replace being together in person, but it offers a way to fill the time, and remind one another you are loved.
You Can Find Spiritual Comfort
It may seem more difficult than ever to be faithful and hopeful during times of loneliness, like these. But many people have been examples of great faith in dark times. It helps me to remember that there is nowhere I can be that God can’t go. God is always with me, and I don’t have to jump through a lot of hoops to be close to HIm. I simply need to reach out in prayer. He knows what I need, and He will not abandon me.
It also encourages me to ask others to pray for me. Praying with someone, or for them, or knowing they are praying for you, can help you feel less lonely in those quiet moments of solitude.
There is Still Beauty in the World
The world can certainly seem like an ugly place sometimes. But there is still beauty in it. Something as simple as opening a window, sitting on your patio, or going for a walk around the neighborhood is a good way to remind yourself of the natural beauty around you. If it’s a rainy day, try a virtual tour of a museum, gallery, or park (you can find many of these by exploring tools like Google Earth).
Whenever you find something that brings you joy, don’t forget to make a note of it somehow. Keep a list on your phone, or in a journal. Put it somewhere you check regularly, so you have ongoing reminders not to give up hope.
We are Here for You
Sometimes, loneliness seems to overwhelm us, no matter how hard we try to look on the bright side. If that’s how you’re feeling, don’t despair. You came to the right place to get support. TheHopeLine offers chat and email mentoring for the times in life when you feel scared, anxious, or lonely. Talk to a HopeCoach today if you’re feeling alone and need some encouragement. We are here for you, and you always have our support. We will get through this tough time together.
Are you experiencing a lot of ups and downs, right now? Read my blog about 5 simple ways to improve your mood.
Photo by Hannah Busing