[Image description: An image of a woman having a visit is set behind a headshot of Selena Bush and the title of the article.]
It can be said 2020 brought about not only extremely challenging situations but challenging emotions as well. As a world living in what seems to be a perpetual state of quarantine, it is normal that you may start to experience some emotions more frequently than you might’ve before the pandemic. Feeling any emotion is okay but things can become a bit more complicated if you start to avoid those feelings. Below are some tips to take with you into 2021 that can help you manage loneliness during and after the pandemic.
First, allow yourself time to feel what you are feeling. Sometimes your immediate reaction to an unpleasant emotion can prevent you from moving through it. This quick response may lead to unhealthy ways of coping. Try to hold off on acting right away. Instead, give yourself time and a comfortable space to feel lonely.
Next, become your own detective. Ask yourself why you feel lonely. Thinking more objectively about how you are feeling may lead to some answers and relief. Perhaps your work/life balance is off and you need more time to connect with friends and family. With more people working from home and having less in-person contact, it is understandable if you are feeling socially isolated. Are there some adjustments you can make to your routine that might allow you more time to safely connect with others? Consider the changes you can make to better your well-being.
Focus on something outside of yourself. For example, rearranging your physical space may bring fresh energy into what may seem like a mundane routine. Doing something nice for someone can also help you feel more connected to that person and good about yourself. Adopting and/or caring for a pet also has its rewards. The idea is to be connected, mindful and engaged in the present moment instead of only thinking inwardly.
Try to remember that emotions pass and change with time. Reminding yourself that your feelings can change may help when you are at your peak with loneliness. If you continue to feel lonely even with attempts to change, or if these feelings last longer than two weeks, it’s a good idea to reach out to a professional. There are many qualified therapists on LiveHealth Online that are waiting to help.
As you continue to navigate this pandemic and the loneliness that comes along with it, remember to give yourself permission to feel whatever comes up, explore those emotions, focus on something else and reach out for support. Feeling lonely does not mean you are alone — therapists and psychologists at LiveHealth Online are here for you!