How to Be Alone and Not Lonely

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It seems a little different, to consider loneliness in a world that finds a way to be more connected every day. Even working through the pandemic families and friends found ways to spend time together remotely, outside, and in other creative ways. Despite the ways we can be with those we love and care about, it is still very common for people to feel lonely in a variety of situations. Integrity Urgent Care wants you to know that there are ways you can help yourself, when feeling this way.

First Steps

First and foremost, it is important to recognize that you are feeling lonely and to try and pinpoint why you are having those feelings. Not all loneliness is the same. Some may feel lonely because they don’t have someone they can talk openly with. Others may feel lonely because they lack romantic intimacy with someone else. It is possible for someone to be in a crowded party or a full house and feel just as lonely as someone who is quarantined alone. While we may not call them symptoms, signs of loneliness differ greatly. According to the Harvard Business Review, restlessness, insomnia, and jumping from one activity to the next are just as common as staying in bed, inability to focus, and other signs. Any time you are feeling disconnected from others for a period of time, you may be experiencing loneliness.

Find Motivation

By focusing our brain and energy on something we are interested in or passionate about, you can reduce the negative effects of loneliness. “Research shows that activities that provide control, autonomy, and a sense of achievement lead to more happiness.” By honing in on something you can control, like learning a new skill or building something from scratch, you are less likely to feel isolated and worried about when the loneliness will disappear.

Focus on Quality

Many try to overcome their loneliness by surrounding themselves with a large number of people, hoping that the numbers are the biggest impact on feeling included and togetherness. In fact, this could have a negative impact on already negative feelings as you are emotionally spent trying to connect with people who may not feed the needs you actually have. Instead, focus on finding ways to connect with one or two people who understand you and who you can have true fellowship with, shooting for consistency. Finding ways to connect that work for both of you, whether messaging, in person, or on the phone, is important to strengthening your relationship and helping you overcome those lonely feelings.

Fitness Goals

Your mental health is tied to your physical wellbeing. By staying active, working out, and eating healthy, your body and mind will be better equipped to handle the harder days and harder tasks you may find yourself facing. Your body and mind will be even better served by time outside, enjoying fresh air, sunlight, and a change of scenery. Try taking a daily walk in addition to your usual workout routine if you aren’t sure where to start.

For Help

If the feelings of loneliness become too overwhelming and you are having difficulty for longer stretches of time, you may need to reach out for professional help. Contact a counselor for assistance or reach out to SAMHSA’s free hotline for resources and help.

Our team at Integrity Urgent Care wants each of our patients to be healthy, both mentally and physically. If you need help reaching out or finding additional services, let us know at your next appointment. We are open every day, from 8am to 8pm and we are ready to help.

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