t’s a no-brainer that loneliness goes beyond physical isolation. It also includes a mindset where a person craves human contact, but when eventually faced with a human directly, they have difficulty communicating properly.
What could trigger feelings of loneliness?
• Physical isolation
• Relationship issues
• Low self-esteem
If these feelings of loneliness are not checked, it could lead to deterioration in both physical and mental health. We have all felt lonely at different points in time, but feeling lonely even when surrounded by people is not a good sign and could lead to serious complications, including suicide attempts.
In recent times, there has been an increase in lonely adults, and social media is a leading causative factor. Many adults have found solace in social media, thereby replacing close human relationships with the internet. What later happens is that once we sign off social media, unaddressed feelings of loneliness reappear, leading to an unhealthy mental cycle.
“While employees appreciate saving time, shedding the stress of commuting, and having more flexibility to balance work and personal demands, remote work has downsides that go beyond domestic distractions and blurred work-life boundaries.,” writes Caroline Knight, Doina Olaru, Julie Anne Lee, and Sharon K. Parker. “In particular, the quality, frequency, and nature of interactions change when colleagues are physically remote and there is less dynamic, spontaneous communication.” They add, “Long before COVID-19, these issues led some to question whether the large-scale practice of remote work would create a society devoid of social connection, lacking communication skills, and less able to develop meaningful relationships.”
Loneliness can be tackled, but with a conscious effort, here’s how…
1. Consciously build close friendships
Loneliness can be curbed if an individual has close friends they can relate to on a personal level. Therein lies the problem of social media – “so close yet so far away.”
Instead of spending all your time getting intimidated over people’s controlled content curation, and their one million followers, how about building quality in-person relationships with people that would legit be there for you during your low periods, and vice versa?
2. Activate self-love to combat loneliness
Especially if you’re working from home, it’s almost inevitable not to feel lonely sometimes. Remember, you can choose to see the glass as half full by choosing this period to pamper yourself, and get in personal sync. Try meditating, doing yoga, or doing anything healthy you love to do to calm your nerves.
Being alone is not always a bad thing, it is imperative you find yourself, and this is mainly achieved in productive solitude.
3. Write it down
Writing has been known as an age-old stress reliever. Sometimes, pick up a pen and just scribble your thoughts or an action plan. This could help declutter your mind and lift some burden off you. Who knows? You could even discover writing as a hidden talent or channel to offload toxic thoughts.
4. Try to help others
Instead of sitting at home and cooking up a thousand ways things could go south for you, how about looking around your neighborhood and donating food and some essential items to individuals in need?
There’s a fulfillment that comes from looking beyond yourself and doing things for people who can’t repay you. If you can’t volunteer physically to help, make donations to those already doing it.
5. Seek help
Therapy will forever remain a great idea. The more we stay in unhealthy isolation, the more we hear voices in our heads trying to convince us of our unworthiness. The ripple effect of this feeling keeps us feeling even lonelier, making us believe we are undeserving of love.
Alas, you no longer need to have Akon’s self-pity “lonely” track stuck on replay after all. When there is a will, there is a way. You can stay home and stay happy!