“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.” ~ Honoré de Balzac
In my June 22, 2015 Ageless Beat blog, “Alone Doesn’t Mean Lonely….” I spoke about how we all may experience loneliness and, though it may seem ironic, sometimes it’s beneficial to spend time alone doing something nurturing to ease that sense.
In addition to finding comfort on your own, another way to overcome loneliness is by spending time with each other. There are many ways to find community and connection, whether you prefer the company of one other or many others. Below are some of the ways I have learned (and helped coaching clients) to diminish any suffering that can accompany the feeling of loneliness.
~ Make time and be fully present to nurture current relationships you feel are worth keeping, and consider letting go of those which are draining or negating. It’s easy to know which are which, just check in with your very real body messengers and trust your gut. Rather than e-mailing/texting, experiment with having more interactions over the phone (or Skype or Facetime with those at a distance) or, better yet, meet in person.
If it wasn’t for today’s technology I’d have no real relationship with my new grandkids living in Arizona. It’s the same even with my two elementary school grandkids here in the east. When they are involved with sports and birthday parties or I am engaged in business and travel, which prevent our biweekly visits, Facetime saves the day.
~ Consider volunteering. Whether you like working with animals or are seeking human interaction, volunteering for an organization (or giving in another way, like cooking a meal for someone in need) can be a great way of being with others while also doing something philanthropic.
~ Become active with an organization or group to meet others while engaging in fulfilling activities, such as: classes in exercise, art, quilting or crocheting, music, history, geography, technology, business, etc.; book groups; environmental, religious, political organizations or a professional group of your peers. MeetUp.com is one online way to find groups. Local newspapers and magazines often list events that may interest you.
~ If you are online, you can check out websites like Boomerly.com, which offer a means to connection for like-minded friends and travel companions, as well as potential romantic partners. Don’t forget your LinkedIn groups and expanding your connections on Facebook and others.
~ Check out retreats with your favorite guru or authors. Join a women’s group or a yoga center.
~ Make an appointment to speak with a ICF certified coach, licensed therapist or clergy.
~ How often do you interact with different generations? This can be a great way to inspire new connections and insights. Create an intergenerational group in your local community center or offer mentoring within your company or professional organization. Go to concerts where younger people abound.
~ Participate in online conversations like this one – offer your comments and suggestions below and let’s make this journey on The Ageless Way even better!!
The world is full of others who are seeking others… The more all of us explore, the better chance we all have of finding each other and reducing loneliness and becoming happier AND healthier.
How would you describe what loneliness feel like? What techniques do you use to cope with, or overcome your loneliness?
(Image Credit: circle of friends by maveric2003, flickr.com)
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