Loneliness For Dummies
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Tips for chasing away feelings of loneliness

Everybody feels lonely at times. When it happens, it’s good to have strategies in mind to help you thwart the feeling and keep it from growing into a more chronic issue. Here are just a few suggestions you can try.

Be kind to yourself. Opening up to others can be tough. Take it at your own pace. Do things you love, like dancing to your favorite song, watching a comforting film, or spending time outdoors.

Connect with your community by joining local events or volunteering. Choose activities you enjoy, being around like-minded people can make a difference.

Connect online through calls, virtual classes, or meet-ups. Even if you can’t see people in person, staying connected virtually can help.

Connect with nature. Spending time outdoors or caring for plants can positively impact your mood and overall well-being.

Avoid comparing yourself to others, especially on social media. Most people share only their best moments, and comparing can worsen feelings of loneliness. Remember, you’re unique and valuable in your own way.

Tips for helping someone else who is experiencing loneliness

Watching someone you care about suffer loneliness is difficult and can leave you feeling powerless and unhelpful. Here are some ways you can help ease the pain of loneliness in someone you know who is experiencing it.

Offer Support. If you sense that someone may need to talk, trust your instincts and initiate a conversation. You don’t have to be an expert. Simply being there for someone can make a difference. Ask how they feel and if there is anything you can do to help.

Provide Reassurance. Let them know that feeling lonely is completely normal. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and not feel shame about them. Suggest organizations that can provide support or to seek other professional help.

Practice Patience. Keep in mind that individuals experiencing loneliness may find it challenging to connect initially, especially if they’ve been feeling lonely for a long period. Take the time to check in on them and reiterate that you’re available if they need support.

Listen Actively. Once someone begins to share their feelings, it’s important to listen attentively. Don’t immediately offer advice or other solutions and avoid drawing parallels to your own experiences.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Andrea Wigfield is Professor of Applied Social and Policy Research and Director of the Centre for Loneliness Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. She is a prominent researcher working to understand loneliness, its implications, and the interventions that can reduce it. She has published over 40 books, chapters, articles, and reports.

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