Last year, I started volunteering at the humane society in my area and it was such a wonderful experience. First, being a dog lover, it just filled my heart to play with dogs and take them for a walk.
Second, giving my time to a cause I care so deeply about was so fulfilling. It’s insane how much your heart will grow when you do an act of kindness!
And they say that animals help with mental illness and even prevent loneliness, so you’re really killing two birds with one stone here. Giving back and feeling better! Talk about a win-win.
When I go to the humane society, I always take some donations with me including some of these goodies from their highly in demand wish list. Even if I can’t volunteer for long, I still know I made an impact and no furry friends go hungry!
2. Read a book
Reading is something that I have always found enjoyment in, so whenever I feel a lonely pang coming on, I grab a book from my ever-growing reading list. Depending on my mood, I’ll either go for a self-improvement book to help me grow or a fiction novel to help me escape my current thoughts.
Self-improvement books are great at helping me shift my mindset into a more positive one (as you can tell in this post I’m allllll about that positive thinking). And they’re really great at helping me figure out if I’m actually lonely or just alone… because you can be alone and not lonely and lonely but not alone.
Fiction novels (esp romance or v relatable plotlines) are just the best when you need to just “get away.” These are my go-to if I just don’t want to deal with life and want a break from reality.
I’ve recently gotten into journaling and been a game changer for clearing my mind and organizing my thoughts. Whenever you feel down or on the verge of getting those lonely pangs, just pull out your favorite notebook and pen and start writing out your thoughts.
Writing in cute journals, (that is also inspirational!), just makes me feel so happy. And I’m obsessed with pens and need ones that write so smooth. Yes, I have a couple, but I love all the colors and can’t choose one over the other!
Oh wow…it sounds like I’m treating my pens like children!
I love that journaling is so personal and you can make it work however you need it to! My therapist told me about 2 specific journaling methods that could work for me and I think they’ll work for you too:
1. Stream of consciousness journaling
This journaling method is pretty much what it sounds like. All you have to do is put your pen to paper and start writing! Even if you don’t know what to write, if that’s what you’re thinking, that’s what you put down!
Even now when I sit down to journal, there are plenty of times when my mind just goes blank! And that’s what I write until something comes and I just go with it.
With the stream of consciousness journaling method, I always use a timer .This allows me to set it and focus on writing rather than check my phone every two seconds to see how much time has passed.
2. Journaling with sentence stems
This journaling method is great if you want more of a structured writing format. There are so many sentence stems and journal prompts online to help you get started.
Some of my favorite sentence stems for journaling include:
- 5 Things I’m grateful for are…
- 5 Things I will accomplish this week are…
- I need more _______ in my life because…
- In the next year, I see myself…
- Dear younger me…
4. Ask a friend to coffee or a meal
If you’re feeling lonely, why not catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while? There’s nothing like seeing an old friend to make you realize that you don’t need to feel lonely because there are people who care about you and want to spend time with you.
My favorite thing to do when meeting up with a friend to catch up is to simply grab coffee. I love this because you can sit as long as you want without waiters coming up to you and making you feel like you need to get up to give someone else your table.
5. Hit the gym for a solo workout
Why waste time sulking when you can throw on an adorable and insanely comfortable Fabletics outfit and get your sweat on?? And no, settling for an at-home workout won’t cut it today, sista.
Get out and surround yourself with PEOPLE. Doing something healthy for yourself and boosting endorphins will make you happier and more confident in yourself. And that self-confidence will eventually push away all those lonely feelings until you feel comfortable being by yourself.
PS – Have you taken advantage of the 2 leggings for $24 offer?!
6. Go to an exercise class
Still talking about the gym, but a workout class is also a great idea! Following all those crazy Tabata or pilates moves will force you to think about something else. And who knows, you may even make a new friend in this class too!
7. Get out of your comfort zone
As you can tell from this post, I’m a huge fan of getting out of my comfort zone and practically forcing myself to try new things. Typically, when all the anxious thoughts start running through my mind, I just want to curl up in a ball and crawl far back into my comfort zone.
And, you guessed it. That doesn’t help prevent feeling lonely when you’re single. Getting out of your comfort zone (from tackling that thing you’ve been putting off to trying something completely new) let’s you try something new on your own, FOR YOU.
8. Work on your mental health and personal growth
Here’s the thing… you can do all these things to prevent feeling lonely when you’re single, but if mental health is not in the right place (AKA healthy), then these tips only act as a bandaid. And once that activity is over, you’re likely to feel lonely again, which is not what we want at all!
All of these ideas I listed in this post are solid ways to take your mind away from something for a short period, and they totally work. While I wholeheartedly agree with all these things to do to prevent feeling lonely when you’re single, I still think you also need to take care of yourself and figure out why you’re feeling this way.
Do you feel insecure with where you’re at in your life?
Have you not taken enough time to fully grieve the ending of your last relationship?
Whatever the reason, you need to get to the bottom of it because resolving that issue will ultimately help change whether you feel “alone” or “lonely.” And it’s completely okay if you can’t figure it out on your own, that’s what therapists are for!
And if you haven’t checked out a therapist before, I highly recommend it. I love talking to someone and learning ways to cope with my anxiety. It really is giving me the tools to deal with issues that come my way in the future.
Here’s to loving the #SingleLife!
This is an incredible time in your life and you should be enjoying it! It’s a time for fun and immense growth, so embrace it! It took me a little while to accept it and love being single and my own person, and I’m having the BEST time, and I know you can too!