Feeling alone often means a lack of connection, or loneliness. You can feel just as alone in a room full of people, as much as living alone. We’ve all experienced it at some point, and you can feel stuck. First thing to remind yourself, you’re never really alone, even when it feels like it right now. There’s a whole world outside, waiting for you to act.
People living alone has rocketed over the last 20 years, jumping by 53% in 45 -64 year olds in UK (ONS 2019) with 1 in 4 Americans! You won’t need to look far to find someone else in the same boat. Society used to see living alone as a bad thing – may have felt somehow you failed in life, or ‘lacking’ something. Friends, get with the program, that’s old news and studies show it differently. Living alone promotes self-actualisation…. Abraham Maslow (psychologist) described this as the process for “everything you are capable of becoming.” It’s an opportunity, time to dig deep, get real with yourself and start to plan how to play out the best version of you. Do the work and live your joy.
Surrounded by people, still feel alone?
A lack of connection between you and them can take many forms. It’s likely you’re starting to see things differently and no longer share the same outlook. Time to figure out YOU. What do you want? What makes you happy? How will you get to where you want to be? Once you ‘do you’, the next steps become more obvious. You may realise you want to re-establish those connections and make the effort required. Or perhaps you come to realise you’ve shifted away and would thrive with different connections more aligned to you, needing your new tribe.
It’s easy to bury loneliness: stuffing your diary to keep busy, drinking way too much to blur it out, wallowing under the duvet every weekend, or taking to social media to show everyone how ‘fine’ you are. All of these tactics might feel ok at the time, but they won’t release you from that feeling – in fact, they can make it worse.
What can I do?
- Make the effort to understand who you really are. Ever noticed how dating profiles all sound the same? That’s because everyone stayed in the same lane and didn’t do the extra work. All you need is a pen, paper and kindness to yourself – write down words your loved ones would use to describe you. If you don’t know, ask them! You may surprise yourself.
- Prisoners do better with a routine, some structure to the day. Not a bad strategy given some of the most successful people use this tactic. Create a routine, tell people about it, get others involved- compete if needs be, reward yourself and most of all, make it fun.
- Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton had some of their breakthroughs in solitude, by following their passion. Go find your passion. What lights your fire? Have a look at adult evening classes, join a beginners running club, volunteer, re-start that childhood hobby, go to a gig you wouldn’t normally, take up a part time job, look at a solo group holiday….. Whatever it is, just try something! And of course, you can always get yourself a life coach!
It’s time to get out your rut and back into your groove. Make the effort to understand things better and you’ll map your way out of the loneliness gloom. Go get ‘em tiger.