“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” – Paul Tillich
Everyone craves and needs social engagement. Personal interactions are good for the mind, heart, and soul. You don’t have to be a social butterfly to feel less lonely though. There are simple ways to overcome loneliness that don’t require hosting a party.
1. Write to a pen-pal – Pen pal World or Pen Pals Now are both good, free websites for finding a pen pal to write to. Connecting in the old fashion way of writing letters, as opposed to the modern favorites of email and Facebook, will create a unique and personal experience. This classic way to keep in touch will allow you to feel less lonely in a very easy way.
2. Volunteer – Hospitals, homeless shelters, women’s centers—every community program and non-profit organization in your area could use volunteers! Connecting with others while making a difference in someone’s life is the ultimate way to boost your spirit and stave off any feelings of loneliness. Even better, there’s an organization out there that has a position and a schedule that will fit your life, no matter how many or how few hours you want to work, or what type of skills you desire to contribute.
3. Adopt a pet – If you’re able to in your current residence, getting a pet is an easy way to feel less lonely. Be sure to also take into account the monthly expenses of an animal and how much time you’d be able to invest each day. Once you factor in these elements, you can start researching the possibilities. There is a pet to suit anyone’s budget and lifestyle, from dogs and cats, to guinea pigs, hamsters, and birds. Companionship is important, even if it’s not human companionship.
4. Connect to others who have your interests – Rather than forcing yourself to socialize in uncomfortable events or in social media, which often make us feel more lonely, try looking up groups in your community that are related to a particular interest, hobby, or passion of yours. For example, join a motherhood group for mommy and me playdates; find a writer’s group where you can learn the best places to get published; hook up with fellow photographers who can share their tips and tricks with you.
5. Attend a poetry reading or songwriter’s night – This particular suggestion will allow you to mingle as visibly or invisibly as you would like, while getting to hear interesting poetry or songwriting. The common theme of experiencing the performance will give you something to discuss with the other spectators, whether they are friends or not, while the group setting will help you to not feel obligated to have lengthy discussions, if you aren’t feeling up for it.
About Alex Blackwell
Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender, which includes 10 free Peace and Balance tools.
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