I have felt a deep sense of loneliness over the past year. I haven’t hung out with my friends in over 14 months and February 2020 was the last time I attended an event. I applied strategies to keep myself occupied during the pandemic. However, the monthly virtual meetups, 1-2 day interactions on Bumble, and biweekly informational interviews aren’t enough to fill the void of in-person social engagement.
Am I meant to be alone?
Don’t get me wrong, I know how to enjoy my own company. I can jam out to my Soundcloud and YouTube playlists anytime. Hell, I laugh at my own jokes and talk shit while watching TV shows and films alone. But I miss meeting new people and having interesting conversations over appetizers.
Are you struggling with loneliness or pandemic fatigue? Here are eight ways to cope:
Start a project. It is spring cleaning time. If you have a room to declutter or redecorate, do it! Start with one section of a room or one box.
Write. Journal your thoughts. Dumping your thoughts on paper might ease your mind after carrying a lengthy diary entry in your head.
Start a blog. There are communities you can connect with through shared experiences and interests. Creating a blog to discuss those topics allows you to engage with others.
Go outside. Getting fresh air can help clear your mind and organize your thoughts. Sometimes, you need a break from people, work assignments and other factors that cause stress.
Talk it out. Talk to your therapist, a close friend or a trusted family member. If therapy is inaccessible to you and you can’t confide in anyone, record your thoughts on your phone’s audio recording app.
Watch a random film or series. Staying at home has given us more time to binge-watch. But watching a series outside your preferred genre might surprise you. Who knew my grown ass would like Ginny and Georgia?
Plan your future social life. Think about your hobbies and passions. Think about what types of people you want to meet. Then research online groups and meetups that align with your interests. Reach out to join virtually or add those groups to your post-pandemic plans.
Remind yourself you’re not destined to be alone. You will socialize in person again.
You are worthy and deserving of meaningful human connection.
How do you cope with loneliness?
Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you and chat.