Alone on Valentines Day? Check Out These 6 Tips To Help Fight Loneliness
Though many will be spending this February 14th with a special someone, others will be facing yet another evening alone. As a species, humans require social contact with others in order to thrive. According to the National Institutes of Health, people with stronger social support networks are happier, healthier, and have a lower risk of depression. So how do those who have never had a significant other, are divorced, or who have lost a life partner handle being alone? These strategies for fighting loneliness can help fill your heart year-round, no matter what your relationship status is.
Tips to Combat Loneliness
Seek Out Basic Social Contact: Sometimes even the smallest bit of social contact can help fight boredom and associated depression. Strike up a conversation with a friendly cashier, chat with your barista or exchange pleasantries with someone on your evening commute. Take a class if you have the energy. You might not walk away with a friend, but you could brighten someone else’s day, in addition to livening up your own.
Reach Out to Others: Whether you’re feeling lonely now or just know how it feels, you may get an emotional boost from befriending someone else who feels alone. By seeking out others with similar feelings, you can help others and yourself, too. Volunteering is one way to reach out if you’re unsure of where to start.
Find Comfort In Faith or Mediation: There are only a few strategies that are proven to successfully protect against loneliness, and this is one of them. Even if you are not a spiritual person by nature, being a part of a church can impart feelings of belonging. Outside of the social aspect, those with spiritual leanings may feel a sense of peace when reflecting on their faith. In a similar fashion, developing a meditation practice can help ease symptoms of stress and anxiety, which can, in turn, combat the fears which sometimes keep us from pursuing meaningful connections with others.
Bond With Your Pet: Pets, especially dogs, are a great help when you’re battling loneliness. Dogs force you out of the house; they’re also naturally social creatures. Yet almost any pet can help you feel less alone. Studies have shown that having another being to care about can help defeat feelings of isolation and reduce stress. Some even claim pet ownership can help reduce the risk of suicide. If you’re not in a position to own a pet, even interacting with other people’s animals or volunteering at a shelter can be the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling low.
Make a Phone Call: Social networks are an essential social outlet for many of us, but research suggests that, on average, people can boost their mood by with face-to-face or even over the phone contact. Resist the urge to comment online and instead follow up a post with a phone call to spur discussion and interaction.
Consider Therapy: If your feelings make even trying these solutions sound like a chore or the symptoms you are experiencing are accompanied by thoughts of suicide or even hopelessness, you might want to talk to a mental health professional about treatment. Look for a professional with a cognitive behavioral background, an approach that’s been shown to help with depression and loneliness.
Experts across many fields agree that people who feel alone are on the average less healthy and generally find it harder to combat suicidal urges and deal with mental illness. Mental Health charities report that being lonely can add to mental health issues such as depression, loneliness, and anxiety. It also suggests that loneliness can contribute to rarer mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.
A Word from Aftermath
Aftermath Services cares about your health and well-being. Every day we see families struggling with the impact of tragedies such as suicide and unattended death. While we hope that you and your loved ones never experience these situations, our dedicated cleanup services exist to help those who are facing the aftereffects of these difficult circumstances.
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one in your home, please call our 24/7 number for more information on biohazard cleanup or to schedule a service or estimate: 877-698-5580 or visit our website.