How to overcome loneliness of being single
Being single can feel lonely at times. The fact that you do not have a partner to share life with can make you feel alone and lonely.
And as much as you might want to suppress the feeling, it is actually healthier to acknowledge it and find a way to deal with loneliness.
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Loneliness is a state of mind, that causes people to feel empty, alone and unwanted. People who feel lonely can be surrounded by others, while still experiencing isolation.
Causes of Loneliness
There are many reasons why somebody may feel lonely. From isolation because of a recent move, to the inability to form social connections.
However, the loneliness of being single comes from the absence of a romantic relationship. If you genuinely desire to be married it is easy to feel the void of a romantic partner. Which can be caused by the following:
A recent breakup can easily lead to the loneliness of being single. The new state of being alone after experiencing togetherness with a romantic partner oftentimes leads to a sense of grief and loss. After a breakup, many singles pass through the 5 stages of grief and therefore experience isolation and depression before eventually getting over the breakup.
2. Continuous Singleness
The second reason why many women experience loneliness when single is because they have been in the same state for a long time. No matter if you have never been in a relationship, or have been waiting for the right man and right timing for 3 years. The feeling that you have been single and lonely for so long can overpower single women and lead to decreased self-esteem.
3. Isolation from loved ones
One of the best ways to prevent loneliness of being single is to build a strong community of family and friends. However, singles that recently moved and therefore find themselves in a new city or country can feel more isolated now that they are further apart from their loved ones.
As you can see the knowledge that you don’t have a companion to share your life with and the idea of having to manage life alone can be frustrating at times.
And as a fellow single woman myself, I can reassure you that feeling lonely at times is a normal byproduct of the good desire to be in a healthy relationship. Because God designed us for companionship and community.
Lonely vs. Alone
There is a difference between feeling lonely and being alone.
Being alone is a state of being. In this state, you are aware of the fact that most of your time is spent entertaining yourself, but you don’t mind. You are at peace and content with your own company and know how to utilize the time well.
Feeling lonely is a state of mind. This state, unfortunately, doesn’t feel great. You feel a void in your life that you can’t seem to fill. You are longing for something and believe that it’s male company. Loneliness can make you feel unhappy or even depressed.
Signs of Loneliness
Even though you slept for 8 hours you still feel tired when you wake up. When you feel lonely you tend to feel more restless and tired.
Weaker Immune System
Loneliness can have an impact on your immune system, the same way stress can. That’s why when you are lonely you are more prone to catching a cold and be out for a few days.
You feel blah
With increased loneliness comes decreased resilience. You are more likely to feel irritated, frustrated or sad and hopeless. Things that you used to be able to tolerate now overwhelm you and lead to increased anxiety.
You escape into the online world
When you are feeling alone you tend to spend more time online because social media becomes your main source of interaction. Unfortunately, online interaction is no substitute for real human relationships.
A lot of times when we don’t feel too good, we compensate the feeling with food. Who doesn’t know lonely nights on the couch with ice cream or chocolate? But loneliness also decreases our motivation to work out which in the long run can lead to serious health problems.
Steps to overcome loneliness
1. Tell your friends
It’s easy to assume that you are the only one that is struggling with loneliness. Which leads to shame around the topic and isolation from others.
However, loneliness is very common and more people than you thin suffer from it. That’s why it’s important to be open with your friends and to ask them for more community.
Because even though our generation is known for being more connected online than offline, a lot of people long for physical connection
You will be surprised about how many people will appreciate a weekly hangout, especially in the winter months.
2. Be intentional about meeting people
So, here’s the thing, I love socializing. And yes, I know it’s not for everybody, but if you are feeling lonely you need to be more intentional about meeting (new) people.
Look into meetup groups of people that share the same hobby or passion as you. Join these groups in a casual setting with no pressure. That way if you like the crowd you can engage in a few good conversations and if you don’t you can leave without anybody noticing.
Either way, it will encourage you to get out of the house, engage with others and feel less isolated.
It’s important to remember that long seasons of feeling lonely can easily lead to depression. And isolation plays a big factor in that.
3. Delete social media
I, personally have a love/hate relationship with social media.
I love it when the light is right, and I can take a cute selfie. But I hate it when I look a mess and everybody on my timeline is using the hashtag #blessedlife.
However, one of the biggest dangers of social media is that we use it to compare our lives to other people’s life. The only problem, most people only share their highlight reels. So, you sitting on your bed with a headwrap and mismatched socks will always look sad compared to theirs.
That’s why if you are experiencing loneliness, consider staying off social media for a while.
Do a social media fast, where you use your new-found free time to do a bible study instead of envying some influencers perfectly color-coordinated Instagram feed.
You will see that it will lower your anxiety and loneliness and increase your joy, creativity, and mindfulness.
4. Learn to enjoy your own company
Let me introduce to you – Justine Mfulama, Single-extraordinaire. Yes, ma’am, I am a pro in entertaining myself, enjoying my own company and laughing about my own jokes.
How did I do that? No idea. I guess the past 10 years were good for something.
No seriously, I just had to learn how to bring joy into my own life, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me. I treat myself, by taking care of my body by working out, of my mind by reading and my soul by spending time with God.
All these habits helped me enjoy my own company and learn to know what makes me happy. Now the question is, what makes you happy?
Once you find out, repeat those activities over and over again and watch the loneliness vanish.
5. Find and work on your purpose
Viktor Frankl said in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” that the chief desire of man is not pleasure but meaning.
Ultimately, your desire to find a community or be in a relationship is not to have fun every weekend, but to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
So, what is greater than being in a romantic relationship? Easy. Living out your God-given purpose!
Therefore, the easiest way to distract yourself from the search of meaning through a relationship is by busying yourself with the meaning that God has appointed to your life.
You can overcome your loneliness of being single by finding and working on your purpose. Use all the free time to identify your unique gifts and talents and create something only you can do.
6. Leave the house
Let’s be honest, how often have you complained these last few weeks that you are lonely, but then you look on Facebook and find a bunch of cool events in your neighborhood?
Well, guess what, the only person that can change something about your state of mind is you.
Get out of the house and change your routine. Go to a coffee shop to read a book. Stroll over a festival site and enjoy a waffle or ice cream.
Stop throwing yourself a pity party and instead hang out with your girls.
Create moments of joy for yourself by embracing being alone.
7. Start a gratitude journal
I know I say it all the time, but I love love love journaling. It’s so therapeutic and the more you write the more you think.
If you are experiencing loneliness, it’s usually because your mind reminds you of all the things you don’t have.
Break that habit by tricking your mind into remembering all the great things you do have. Studies show that we internalize things better if we write them down. So get yourself a cute journal and start listing your blessings.
That way every time you feel lonely you can use that list to cheer yourself up.
With the holidays approaching, this one shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish.
The beauty of volunteering is that you are reminded that there is a place for you in your community. A place to serve.
While serving might not seem glamorous or fun, it is humbling and fulfilling. It reminds you of the wide palette of challenges people face.
Not to say that your problems aren’t significant. But more so to remind you that every human being has to fight a battle, but it’s up to you to decide if you want to go out without bruises and loose or endure a black eye and win.
9. Check yourself
One of the things you want to avoid when you feel lonely is to sabotage yourself. Establishing connections and friendships is a two-way street that only works if both people are willing to be open.
Do some introspection and consider letting your guard down. Try to be as positive as possible and trust God to bring good people into your life.
Taking the focus off yourself and opening yourself up to others will allow you to build deeper connections and stronger relationships.
10. See a therapist
The last on how to overcome loneliness of being single is to see a therapist. I wholeheartedly believe that if you know God and practice the last 9 activities from time to time, you can overcome loneliness.
But I also believe that you should seek professional help if you have a hard time fighting this on your own.
Therapists are trained to identify signs of loneliness and will advise you on actions to take. Because what is important is to get better and not worse.
Don’t be ashamed to seek professional help, because more often than not we need it.
These are my 10 tips on how to overcome loneliness of being single.
And as much as I think you can conquer loneliness using the above tips I also want to remind you that loneliness can have a staggering effect on your physical and mental health.
How loneliness affects the mind and body
There are a number of health risks associated with acute and chronic loneliness, however, the following three are amongst the most common in single women.
Even though I mentioned depression before, it’s worth repeating. Going for days, weeks or months feeling like you are alone, undesirable or abandoned can affect your sense of happiness and self-love. It leads to feelings of sadness, overwhelm and lack of motivation which are all signs of depression.
2. Anxiety and Stress
By now we all know that life is not easy. It has its ups and downs and more often than not we find ourselves in situations that put us in over our heads. Feeling lonely and like the weight of the world lies on your shoulders with no one to support you can lead to anxiety and stress.
3. Drug Abuse
People who are lonely tend to numb the feeling with the consumption of soft drugs such as alcohol or marijuana. Even though it may seem harmless and innocent at first, the habit of suppressing the feeling of loneliness can have long-lasting ramifications, like an addiction.
Please note that if you suffer from chronic loneliness, you should contact a therapist or health professional.
Seriously, analyze the root of your loneliness, the signs you’ve been seeing in your life and consider executing the 10 tips on how to overcome loneliness of being single. Because if you nip it in the bud now, you can avoid depression.
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How to Overcome Loneliness of Being Single
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