Ever notice how quiet it can seem when the extra activity of a holiday fades away? Many of us spend a few weeks preparing for the increase in activity, extra time with friends and family, food preparation, shopping and wrapping gifts for the little ones, travel and then wham…just like that it’s over.
While we may be relieved to leave the hustle and bustle behind, for many of us, there is a sense of loneliness that follows.
What do YOU do when you start to feel lonely? Do you withdraw even more? Do you look for some sort of temporary distraction? Do you think there must be something wrong with you and look for ways to fix it?
Would you be willing to consider that no matter how lonely you feel, you are not alone? There is a way to go beyond loneliness and to have a greater sense of peace.
Here are five tools to help you when dealing with loneliness:
1. Start Every Day by Asking Questions
Sometimes, when you’re first waking up in the morning that feeling of loneliness comes rushing in. It can feel like the south end of a north bound elephant is sitting on your head and you just want to go back to sleep – hoping it will go away.
The next time you notice this, rather than spiraling down deeper into loneliness, ask a question. Asking questions can empower you to change anything.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- What can I be or do different today to move beyond this loneliness?
- How does it get any better than this?
- What else is possible here that I’ve never considered?
One of the problems with loneliness is that we don’t see any other options. When you ask a question, even a simple one such as, “What else is possible here that I’ve never considered?” you open the door to new possibilities that you couldn’t see before.
2. Stop Trying to Fix You
When you feel lonely, when you have thoughts of depression, when you can’t seem to find that happy feeling no matter how hard you try, often you decide that there is something wrong with you and you start desperately seeking to fix it. What if there’s nothing wrong with you? What if you don’t need to be fixed?
We spend so much time judging our bodies and ourselves and we are so used to believing that we are wrong. Would you be willing to let that go? Would you be willing to consider that you’re not nearly as messed up as you’ve decided you are? Try asking this question every day, “What’s right about me that I’m not getting?”
I wonder how much lighter you would feel if you stopped judging you?
3. Do Things that Are Fun for You
When loneliness feels overwhelming, it’s easy to stop doing the things we enjoy. Rather than having fun and enjoying life, we tend to withdraw even more.
Make the choice to turn this around. For one hour each day, do something that’s fun for you. Whatever that is. Go for a walk. Read a book. Go dancing. Whatever benefits you, for one hour each day do that thing.
4. Connect with People Who Are Kind to You
Are there people that really add to your life that you have stopped connecting with? How much more joy would you have if you reconnected with the people who have been amazing gifts in your life?
How much would it add to your life if you were able to receive the nurture and care from EVERYONE around you?
Start today. Reach out. Reconnect.
5. Stop Taking on the Energy of Others
What if the loneliness that you feel every day isn’t yours? I know, that sounds weird. But, here’s the thing, about 98% of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you experience aren’t even yours. You are like a big radio receiver. You pick up on everything that’s going on around you and you believe that all of that heaviness is yours when it’s not.
Here’s what you can do. For three days, every time you notice loneliness, ask, “Who does this belong to?” If you notice that things feel lighter when you ask the question, it was never yours.
You don’t have to be at the effect of loneliness. For starters, recognize that there’s nothing wrong with you. Choose to ask questions, do the things that are fun for you and connect with the people who contribute to you. You may just discover that you are lonely no more.